Arizona Governor Vetoes Republican-Backed Immigration Bill

In a not-so-surprising move, Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed a Republican-backed immigration bill on Monday that would have allowed local law enforcement to arrest, detain and deport illegal immigrants who crossed over the border.

The “Arizona Border Invasion Act” or SB-1231 would have allowed local law enforcement to arrest and detain any illegal immigrant caught crossing the border, similar to Texas’ immigration law. The bill would have given a maximum six-month prison term for the first offense and a two-year maximum for other offenses.

The bill would have also allowed for state judges to order deportations for illegal immigrants.

According to Hobbs, she vetoed the bill because she claimed that it was “harmful” and raised “serious” constitutional concerns.

“I certainly understand that voters are frustrated and want to see something resolve this,’” Hobbs said.

“It’s a mischaracterization to say my office hasn’t done anything on border security,” Hobbs said. “We’ve allocated tens of millions of dollars to local communities and law enforcement to mitigate the flow of fentanyl, to address security concerns. And we’re going to continue to do that.’”

The veto came with a wave of backlash from voters and politicians alike, claiming that Hobbs has not done enough to secure Arizona’s border.

State Sen. Janae Shamp (R-AZ) introduced the bill back in January to try and deter illegal immigrants from bombarding the Arizona border due to the Biden administration’s unwillingness to help.

“The Legislature did its job to protect our citizens, but Governor Hobbs failed to do hers,” Shamp said in an emailed statement. “Arizonans want and deserve safe communities. Our local, county, and state law enforcement officers are pleading for help, and they support this legislation to protect our citizens.”

The veto comes after the Supreme Court voted to temporarily block Texas’ immigration law that would allow law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants caught crossing the border.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, over 250,000 illegal immigrants have been seen in Arizona’s Tuscon Sector during the first four months of the 2024 fiscal year, making it an astonishing 182% increase from the same period in 2023.