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Video: Arizona governor vetoes bill making illegal immigration a crime

A fence along the U.S Mexican border west of Nogales, Arizona, on March 16, 2018. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
March 07, 2024

Governor Katie Hobbs (D-Ariz.) vetoed a Republican bill on Monday that would have made it a crime for illegal immigrants to illegally cross Arizona’s southern border. The Arizona governor claimed the bill was “anti-immigrant” and presented “significant constitutional concerns.”

Senate Bill 1231, known as the “Arizona Border Invasion Act,” 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.” Under the “Arizona Border Invasion Act,” the illegal crossing of Arizona’s southern border would be considered a misdemeanor state crime.

The bill would also outline penalties for individuals who illegally enter Arizona along the southern border and authorize law enforcement officials to arrest illegal immigrants in the state.

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In a video posted Monday on X, formerly Twitter, Hobbs argued that while Arizona residents were frustrated with the “federal government’s failure” to address the crisis at the southern border, “this bill is not the solution.”

“Anti-immigrant legislation to score cheap political points has no place in our state,” Hobbs stated.

In a letter explaining the reasoning behind her veto of the “Arizona Border Invasion Act,” Hobbs wrote, “Today, I vetoed Senate Bill 1231. This bill does not secure our border, will be harmful for communities and business in our state, and burdensome for law enforcement personnel and the state judicial system.”

Hobbs also claimed that the “Arizona Border Invasion Act” presented “significant constitutional concerns” and would have caused the state to engage in “costly and protracted litigation” in the courts.

According to The Post Millennial, a similar bill passed by Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) and state lawmakers has faced significant challenges in court. While a federal appeals court upheld the state’s new law cracking down on illegal immigration, the Supreme Court has temporarily forced the state to delay the implementation of the legislation.