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Tipsheet

Voters in This Border State Will Decide If Police Can Arrest Illegal Aliens

AP Photo/Matt York

Lawmakers in Arizona gave final approval to a proposal that would ask voters to make it a state crime for illegal immigrants to enter the state through Mexico at any location other than a port of entry. The issue will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot. 

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According to the Associated Press, Arizona’s proposal was approved on a 31-29 vote by the state House (via AP):

Arizona’s proposal, approved on a 31-29 vote by the state House, would allow state and local police to arrest people crossing the border without authorization. It would also give state judges the power to order people convicted of the offense to return to their countries of origin.

The proposal bypasses Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who had vetoed a similar measure in early March and has denounced the effort to bring the issue to voters.

Hobbs spoke out against the bill’s approval, saying, “Extremists in the Legislature have chosen to prioritize their political agendas over finding real solutions.”

She said the legislation “will hurt Arizona businesses, send jobs out of state, make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs, and bust the state’s budget. It will not secure our border.”

All Republicans voted in support of the measure, AP noted. 

“When the federal government fails, the state has to step in,” said state Rep. Timothy Dunn, a Republican who grew up in Yuma, Arizona, near the border with Mexico.

Last month, Townhall covered how the Biden administration filed a lawsuit against Oklahoma over a similar law that allows local authorities to arrest illegal aliens. 

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Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt signed House Bill 4156 into law in April. The law would “create new state crimes to regulate noncitizens’ entry and reentry into and presence in, the United States, with charges ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony,” the Department of Justice noted.

“Oklahoma cannot disregard the U.S. Constitution and settled Supreme Court precedent,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “We have brought this action to ensure that Oklahoma adheres to the Constitution and the framework adopted by Congress for regulation of immigration.”   

When Stitt signed the bill into law in April, he said, “I am disappointed this bill is necessary.”

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