Arizona Senate Defies Governor: New Immigration Bill One Step Closer To November Ballot!

By Jennifer Wentworth | Saturday, 11 May 2024 09:20 PM
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A significant development in Arizona's immigration policy has emerged as the state's Senate advances a proposal to bypass Governor Katie Hobbs and implement stricter immigration laws.

The decision on these laws would be left to the voters, a move that has successfully navigated a crucial stage in the State Senate.

Arizona Senate President Warren Peterson expressed his frustration with the governor's inaction on the border issue in an interview with Fox News Digital. He stated, "The governor has openly said the border is not secure. She’s said the federal government’s failing us, the Biden administration’s failing us, but unfortunately, it’s just words. She hasn’t proposed anything, she hasn’t given us anything for the border."

Peterson's remarks followed the approval of the "Secure Border Act," or HCR 2060, by an Arizona Senate committee. The bill, which mirrors the contentious SB 4 law in Texas, is one step closer to being presented to voters in November. The proposed legislation criminalizes illegal border crossings and empowers local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws, similar to the Texas law currently embroiled in a court dispute.

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Peterson, the leading Republican in the Arizona Senate, emphasized the bill's focus on border security. "This is truly a border security bill," he said. "It allows law enforcement to if they see somebody crossing the border illegally, they’re able to arrest them, detain them, and put them through the judicial process."

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The bill addresses three primary issues: border security, the fentanyl crisis in Arizona, and the verification of legal status for government benefit recipients. Peterson also clarified that the new bill differs significantly from SB 1070, a controversial 2010 immigration law in Arizona that was partially overturned by the Supreme Court in 2012. Unlike SB 1070, which allowed law enforcement to question anyone's immigration status, the new bill focuses specifically on securing the border.

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The proposed legislation could allow Arizona Republicans to sidestep the state's Democratic governor, who vetoed a similar bill in March. Governor Hobbs argued that the bill would harm businesses and communities and burden law enforcement. She stated, "This bill does not secure our border. On the contrary, it will be harmful for businesses and communities in our state and a burden for law enforcement personnel. I know there’s frustration about the federal government’s failure to secure our border, but this bill is not the solution."

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Despite Hobbs' opposition to the new initiative, as reported by AZ Family, Peterson remains confident that the legislation is the best solution to the border crisis. He criticized the governor for vetoing every border security bill proposed by the Republican-led legislature without offering any concrete plans to address the issue. "We’ve done 10 bills in the last two years to deal with border security and she has vetoed all of them," Peterson said. "We’re going to send it to the voters for them to decide in November."

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Peterson is optimistic about the bill's chances of passing if it reaches the voters, citing the border crisis as a primary concern for many constituents. The proposal will now proceed to the full Senate for approval, with a vote expected on May 15. The state House of Representatives, where Republican House Speaker Ben Toma supports the measure, will also need to review it.

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