Chiles v. United States , 69 F.3d 1094 ( 1995 )


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  •                  United States Court of Appeals,
    
                             Eleventh Circuit.
    
                               No. 95-4061.
    
     Lawton M. CHILES, Jr., Governor of the State of Florida; State
    of Florida;    Dade County Public Health Trust, an agency and
    instrumentality of Dade County, a political subdivision of the
    State of Florida, the School Board of Dade County, Florida,
    Plaintiffs-Appellants,
    
                                     v.
    
     UNITED STATES of America; Doris Meissner, Commissioner of the
    Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of
    Justice;   Janet Reno, Attorney General of the United States;
    Jennifer Nelson, Acting Regional Administrator of the Southern
    Regional Office of the INS of the Department of Justice; Walter D.
    Cadman, District Director of the Miami District Office of the INS
    of the Department of Justice; Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of the
    United States Department of Health & Human Services, Defendants-
    Appellees.
    
                              Nov. 8, 1995.
    
    Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern
    District of Florida. (No. 94-676-CIV-EBD), Edward B. Davis, Judge.
    
    Before EDMONDSON and DUBINA, Circuit Judges, and CUDAHY*, Senior
    Circuit Judge.
    
         EDMONDSON, Circuit Judge:
    
         In this expedited appeal, Florida alleges it is injured by the
    
    United States' failure to enforce the immigration laws.   The State
    
    asserts claims under both the Administrative Procedure Act and the
    
    United States Constitution. Florida asks for equitable restitution
    
    of its unreimbursed expenses or for declaratory relief and an
    
    injunction requiring the United States to fulfill its statutory and
    
    constitutional duties.   The district court dismissed all counts,
    
    concluding the claims presented nonjusticiable political questions.
    
    
         *
          Honorable Richard D. Cudahy, Senior U.S. Circuit Judge for
    the Seventh Circuit, sitting by designation.
    For the reasons as set forth in the district court's order1 and for
    
    the reasons set out below, we AFFIRM.
    
                                    Count II
    
             In Count II,2 Florida sues the Attorney General under the APA
    
    for her failure to perform the duties imposed by the immigration
    
    laws.      See 8 U.S.C. 1103(a);      1251(a).    The district court
    
    dismissed this claim as a political question. We conclude that, to
    
    the extent Florida asks this court to construe the statutory
    
    responsibilities of the Attorney General, the claim is justiciable.
    
    See Japan Whaling Ass'n v. American Cetacean Soc., 
    478 U.S. 221
    ,
    
    230, 
    106 S. Ct. 2860
    , 2866, 
    92 L. Ed. 2d 166
     (1986).
    
                                  A. Standing
    
             The Attorney General asserts Florida lacks standing to raise
    
    this claim.3      On the redressibility component of standing, we
    
    recognize that the level of illegal immigration is dependent on
    
    many factors outside the control of the Attorney General.         See
    
    Simon v. Eastern Kentucky Welfare Rights Org., 
    426 U.S. 26
    , 41-43,
    
    
    96 S. Ct. 1917
    , 1926, 
    48 L. Ed. 2d 450
     (1976).      But, because an order
    
    against the named defendants would offer some relief to Florida, we
    
    suppose that the State does have standing to raise this claim.
    
                                B. The Statutes
    
             Assuming justiciability and standing, we—for much the same
    
    
    
    
         1
          See Chiles v. United States, 
    874 F. Supp. 1334
    (S.D.Fla.1994).
         2
            Count I is moot.
         3
            The district court did not address this argument.
    reasons as are expressed in the district court's order4—conclude
    
    that the district court properly dismissed this count. The overall
    
    statutory scheme established for immigration demonstrates that
    
    Congress   intended     whether    the   Attorney   General   is    adequately
    
    guarding the borders of the United States to be "committed to
    
    agency discretion by law" and, thus, unreviewable.            See 5 U.S.C. §
    
    701(a);    cf. Heckler v. Chaney, 
    470 U.S. 821
    , 838, 
    105 S. Ct. 1649
    ,
    
    1659, 
    84 L. Ed. 2d 714
     (1985).5       And, Section 1251(a) expressly gives
    
    the Attorney General discretion whether to deport a particular
    
    alien.
    
                                      Count III
    
             Count   III   alleges    that   the   Federal   Medicaid    and   AFDC
    
    reimbursement programs unconstitutionally discriminate against the
    
    state in violation of the Spending Clause (Art. I, § 8) and "other
    
    constitutional provisions guaranteeing equality among the states."
    
    While initial spending decisions are exclusively the domain of
    
    Congress,6 if a specific constitutional limit is exceeded judicial
    
    review is possible, even if the case involves foreign policy.               Cf.
    
    INS v. Chada, 
    462 U.S. 919
    , 
    103 S. Ct. 2764
    , 
    77 L. Ed. 2d 317
     (1983).
    
    But, because no specific constitutional limit on the spending power
    
    
         4
          While the district court dismissed this count as
    nonjusticiable, it did discuss whether Congress intended judicial
    review under Section 1103(a). Chiles, 874 F.Supp. at 1339-41.
         5
          The part of the statute relied on by Florida would not
    justify even an allegation of complete abdication of statutory
    duties to go to trial. Cf. Heckler, 470 U.S. at 833 n. 4, 105
    S.Ct. at 1656 n. 4.
         6
          Because of this circumstance, the district court concluded
    that this claim was nonjusticiable. Chiles, 874 F.Supp. at 1342.
    has   been   exceeded   by    the   reimbursement   policies   of   AFDC   and
    
    Medicaid, we conclude this count was properly dismissed.                   See
    
    Buckley v. Valeo, 
    424 U.S. 1
    , 88-90, 
    96 S. Ct. 612
    , 668, 
    46 L. Ed. 2d 659
     (1976); South Carolina v. Katzenbach, 
    383 U.S. 301
    , 323-25, 
    86 S. Ct. 803
    , 816, 
    15 L. Ed. 2d 769
     (1966) (states not protected by
    
    Fifth Amendment's equal protection guarantee).          Florida must seek
    
    relief in Congress.          Cf. Garcia v. San Antonio Metro. Transit
    
    Auth., 
    469 U.S. 528
    , 549-53, 
    105 S. Ct. 1005
    , 1017-18, 
    83 L. Ed. 2d 1016
     (1985).
    
                                         Count IV
    
           Count IV alleges the United States violates the Guarantee and
    
    Invasion Clause (Art. IV, § 4) and the Tenth Amendment by forcing
    
    Florida to provide unreimbursed benefits to illegal immigrants.
    
    For much the same reasons expressed in the order of the district
    
    court, we conclude that whether the level of illegal immigration is
    
    an "invasion" of Florida and whether this level violates the
    
    guarantee of a republican form of government present nonjusticiable
    
    political questions. See generally Baker v. Carr, 
    369 U.S. 186
    , 
    82 S. Ct. 691
    , 
    7 L. Ed. 2d 663
     (1962).            And, we agree that Florida's
    
    provision of benefits to illegal aliens is not the product of
    
    federal coercion of the kind which violates the Tenth Amendment.
    
    Compare New York v. United States, 
    505 U.S. 144
    , 173-78, 
    112 S. Ct. 2408
    , 2427-29, 
    120 L. Ed. 2d 120
     (1992) with Plyler v. Doe, 
    457 U.S. 202
    , 
    102 S. Ct. 2382
    , 
    72 L. Ed. 2d 786
     (1982);          and Dep't of Health &
    
    Rehabilitative Services v. Solis, 
    580 So. 2d 146
     (Fla.1991).
    
                                        Conclusion
    
          We recognize that the difficulty in fashioning a remedy for an
    alleged wrong can result in a case being nonjusticiable.        See
    
    Powell v. McCormack, 
    395 U.S. 486
    , 515-17, 
    89 S. Ct. 1944
    , 1961, 
    23 L. Ed. 2d 491
     (1969).     Because we conclude that Florida fails to
    
    state a claim upon which relief can be granted by a court, we do
    
    not reach this issue.   The order of the district court is AFFIRMED.