May 22, 2024

Arizona Republicans move forward controversial immigration bill

Senate Republicans passed a ballot measure that could empower local law enforcement to arrest people who they believe entered the country illegally.

360 capitol museum The Arizona State Legislature in Phoenix.
Steve Riggs/AZPM Staff

House Concurrent Resolution 2060 makes it illegal under state law to enter the country anywhere besides a port of entry.

Opponents of the bill are comparing it to SB 1070 — the 2010 law that the US Supreme Court partially struck down as unconstitutional.

Democratic Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales represents a border district.

“This law will lead to racial profiling even more so than what happens without it," she said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "It will give a license to law enforcement. That’s what 1070 did.”

The bill contains other immigration related measures, including increasing the penalty for selling fentanyl when it leads to a death, and changes to eligibility checks for social services and employment.

Gov. Katie Hobbs said the bill will kill jobs, hurt businesses and prevent law enforcement from stopping dangerous crimes.

"Business leaders, border law enforcement, and bipartisan local leaders throughout the state who oppose this bill know it will not make us safer, instead it will demonize our communities and lead to racial profiling."

Hobbs vetoed a similar bill earlier this year. This resolution will go back to the House, and if passed will be on the ballot for voters to decide in November.

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