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Arizona voters could have direct say on border policies in November

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(The Center Square) – Arizona voters could play a critical role in deciding the state’s border policies in November.

Senate Republicans said earlier this week in a news release that legislation to give local, county, state law enforcement power to arrest people crossing into the United States illegally could be on the ballot as a referral from the Republican majority legislature.

As House Concurrent Resolution 2060, dubbed the “Secure the Border Act,” stands now, it cracks down on e-verify processes to target illegal immigration, but a “strike everything amendment” will ultimately change the resolution before it goes up for a vote among lawmakers to refer to the ballot.

“Arizona Democrats in power have shown us time after time, with every ‘no’ vote and veto of our border security legislation, that they are not concerned for the safety and well-being of our citizens, nor do they have any care for the wasted taxpayer dollars being used to mitigate the fallout from Biden’s border invasion,” Senate President Warren Petersen said in a statement. “Their priorities are tone deaf to the realities Arizonans are facing, and this will be confirmed when voters have the chance to take matters into their own hands this November. Republicans are committed to securing the border and returning sanity to our state after the chaos Democrats have willfully perpetuated with our current Governor leading the charge.”

Besides allowing law enforcement to detain people crossing outside a port of entry, it would also permit them to arrest those who are already in the United States but are not following a request to leave the country. Republicans say it’s meant to mirror Texas’ legally challenged Senate Bill 4.

Gov. Katie Hobbs’ first veto of the session was the “Arizona Border Invasion Act,” which was a similar bill that would have made it a state crime to enter Arizona unless it was through a legal port of entry.

“This bill does not secure our border, will be harmful for communities and businesses in our state, and burdensome for law enforcement personnel and the state judicial system,” Hobbs stated in her veto letter, The Center Square reported.

When asked about the measure in a news conference Thursday, Hobbs reiterated.

“I understand the frustration that leads to legislation like this, but this is the same bill that was sent to me, that I vetoed and it’s not going to solve the problem,” she said. “In fact, many of the law enforcement in those communities were not supportive of this legislation.”

Many Democrats have criticized Republican-backed border legislation this session has harkening back to Senate Bill 1070 from 2010, which also gave more authority to non-federal law enforcement but wound up getting mostly shot down by the United States Supreme Court in 2012.

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