senate floor
Arizona Democrats Walk Out In Protest Over Border Security Bill

March 27, 2024

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona Senate Democrats are protesting their Republicans’ efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.

Last week, three Democrats walked out of the Arizona Senate Military Affairs, Public Safety and Border Security Committee, during a hearing on HB 2748. The bill would “make it unlawful for a person who is an alien (unlawful immigrant) to enter the State of Arizona from a foreign nation at any location other than a lawful port of entry,” and it would “outline penalties for violations of illegally entering the state and provide immunity from civil liability and indemnification for state and local government officials, employees and contractors who enforce this prohibition” – according to the purpose from the chamber.

The proposal was sponsored by Republican State Representative Joseph Chaplik.

After three Democrats in committee walked out over discussion of the bill, the Arizona Senate Republicans Caucus “X” account posted, “Senate Democrats are turning their back on Arizona just like Biden has turned his back on America. Today, Democrat Senators walked out of committee in protest of hearing bills aimed at securing our southern border and protecting Arizonans against border-related crimes. As border-related crimes have more than doubled in some areas of our state, Democrats continue to be more concerned about protecting criminals than Arizona citizens.”

After the walkout and vote, Senator David Gowan, the committee’s chair, said, “Senate Democrats are turning their back on Arizona, just like Biden has turned his back on America. This week, the Democrat senators pictured on the right walked out of my committee on Military Affairs, Public Safety & Border Security in protest of hearing bills aimed at securing our southern border and protecting Arizonans against the horrific crimes associated with the invasion. This criminal activity has more than doubled in some areas of our state, including my home of Cochise County.”

Gowan added, “Sadly, Senators Gabaldon, Diaz, and Bravo refuse to even have a conversation on solutions to protect our citizens. They disgracefully chose to pose for photos, rather than listen to powerful testimony and discussion regarding several solutions, including the mirror to my Aggravated Unlawful Flight bill, which would create tougher penalties for drivers who endanger the life of another person while attempting to flee law enforcement. Our law enforcement and the citizens of Arizona deserve more respect.”

The piece of legislation passed out of the committee with a 4-0 vote (with three members not voting).

Last month, the bill was approved by the Arizona House of Representatives with a 31-28 vote (with one vacant seat).

The bill stands a certain chance of a veto from Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs, who has already rejected one other Republican solution to the border crisis.

HB 2748 will now be considered by the full Senate chamber.

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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