Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer has announced plans to countersue the federal government for failing to enforce U.S. immigration laws.
Brewer said the government has not secured the state's border with Mexico and has stuck Arizona with the costs tied to illegal immigration.
The countersuit comes in response to the government's lawsuit last summer over Arizona's controversial new law, which was meant to curtail illegal immigrants.
"Because the federal government has failed to protect the citizens of Arizona, I am left with no other choice," Brewer said as sign-carrying protesters yelled chants at her and at other champions of the immigration law.
The statute was passed after years of complaints that the federal government has not protected Arizona from rising border crime.
"We in Arizona are very concerned about the violence that's taking place because of the drug cartels and the human smuggling and the criminal behavior that's taken place," Brewer said.
"And it's happening to illegal immigrants. It's happening to legal citizens. It's happening," she continued. "And we want it stopped, and it's the federal government's responsibility to protect the public safety health and welfare of the people of our country."
The countersuit comes as a number of other states consider similar immigration reform laws.