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House Sends Arizona Border Invasion Act To Hobbs’ Desk

March 2, 2024

By Daniel Stefanski |

On Wednesday, the Arizona House of Representatives passed SB 1231, the Arizona Border Invasion Act. The bill, which was sponsored by Senator Janae Shamp, would “make it unlawful for a person who is an alien (unlawful immigrant) to enter Arizona from a foreign nation at any location other than a lawful port of entry, [and] outline penalties for violations of illegally entering Arizona and provides 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 Arizona State Senate.

The vote in the House was 31-28 in favor of SB 1231, with one seat vacant. Earlier this month, the bill passed the Senate with a 16-13 vote (with one member not voting).

“Arizonans want and deserve safe communities, but the invasion at the border has led to countless fentanyl overdoses, rapes, murders, human smuggling, child sex trafficking, high-speed chases, subsequent deadly car crashes, and other heinous crimes that are forever transforming our state and the lives of our citizens right before our eyes,” said bill sponsor Senator Janae Shamp.

Senator Shamp also called on the governor to use every tool available to her office to help law enforcement enforce the law, writing, “Governor Katie Hobbs has declared on numerous occasions her disapproval for the lawlessness caused by the federal government’s open border policies and her desire to take action to protect our citizens. This legislation is exactly what our local law enforcement needs and has asked for to rein in the dangerous criminal activity that’s being thrust upon law-abiding Arizonans by the Biden Administration. The Legislature has done its job. Now is her chance to protect the citizens of Arizona by signing this bill into law, so that we can take the handcuffs off of our law enforcement and allow them to do their job.”

On the Arizona Legislature’s Request to Speak system, a representative from Arizona Catholic Conference endorsed the bill, while representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, the City of Phoenix, and Arizona Faith Network signed in in opposition to the legislation.

One of Senator Shamp’s colleagues, Senate President Pro Tempore T.J. Shope, also highlighted the passage of the bill through both chambers of the state legislature and echoed the desire for the governor to sign the legislation. He posted, “I call on Governor Hobbs to sign this bill and make good on her promise from the State of the State Address this year to take the situation at our Border seriously. Katie Hobbs, sign SB 1231.”

Arizona House Democrats vehemently protested the bill on the floor before it won final passage. The Caucus’ “X” account called the measure the “ghost of SB 1070,” and confidently predicted a veto from Governor Hobbs.

Despite a heightened tone in rhetoric from Governor Hobbs over the border crisis, the Democrat chief executive of Arizona is unlikely to go along with many – if any – of the immigration-related bills currently being offered in the legislature by Republicans. Legislative Republicans have pointed to Hobbs’ vetoes of their border bills in the 2023 session as proof that her actions speak louder than words, and the forthcoming decisions on these new proposals will certainly add to that narrative as an election year kicks into high gear for both political parties.

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

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