Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs Vetoes Bill Making Border Crossing a State Crime

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs Vetoes Bill Making Border Crossing a State Crime
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs gives a brief speech prior to President Joe Biden's remarks at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Ariz., on Sept. 28, 2023. (Rebecca Noble/Getty Images)

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed a bill that would have made border crossing a state crime.

Republican state Sen. Janae Shamp sponsored Senate Bill 1231, which “makes it unlawful for a person who is an alien [illegal immigrant] to enter Arizona from a foreign nation at any location other than a lawful port of entry.”

According to her statement on the veto, Ms. Hobbs said the “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.”

“Further, this bill presents significant constitutional concerns and would be certain to mire the State in costly and protracted litigation,” she said.

The veto is Ms. Hobbs’ first of the year. The Senate and the House passed the legislation along a party-line vote.

It would have allowed state officials to fine and imprison illegal immigrants entering the state from Mexico.

“It’s time to take the handcuffs off of our sheriffs who have been elected to protect the citizens of Arizona, which is why I’m introducing the Arizona Border Invasion Act, SB 1231,” said Sen. Shamp during a press conference on the bill.

The bill indemnifies government officials, employees, and contractors from civil liability for damages that could arise from enforcement action related to illegal entry.

“Our state local law enforcement are putting their lives on the line daily to protect our communities and it’s clear they need all of our support,” said Republican state Sen. David Gowan.

The legislation makes illegal entry a class-one misdemeanor unless the person has been convicted of illegal entry previously, in which case it becomes a class-six felony. Illegal entry escalates to a class-three felony if the accused has past convictions related to drugs, assault, or terrorism.

“This bill will also address illegal re-entry by establishing state law against non-U.S. citizens who enter if they have already been denied entry or have been renewed,” said Mr. Shamp.

Washington’s ‘Ongoing Failure’

In her 2024 State of the State address, Ms. Hobbs blamed the crisis at the border on “Washington’s ongoing failure to secure our southern border,” which she said was a failure “decades in the making under both Democratic and Republican administrations.”

“When my fellow Arizonans gave me the honor of this office, I pledged to not play the same old political games that created this crisis, and that have continually hurt communities, families, and our state,” she said. “No one understands the misguided efforts of the past more than our neighbors, sheriffs, small business owners, and local law enforcement near the border who work every day to offer solutions where the federal government has failed.”

She said one needs to look no further than the attempted closure of the Lukeville-Sonoyta Port of Entry, which reopened in January after U.S. Customs and Border Protection closed it down due to a flood of illegal immigrants.

She said that “did nothing to solve our immigration crisis,” only hurting businesses and families instead.

“My administration worked tirelessly to reverse this shortsighted action by the federal government, and took extraordinary steps, including sending the National Guard to the border to bring security and common sense to this because they are stepping up where the federal government can’t, or won’t,” she said. “This year, they asked for boots on the ground, improved communications systems, resources to combat human trafficking, and the latest technologies to keep communities on both sides of the border safe, and I delivered.”

Ms. Hobbs touted her launch of Operation SECURE (Safety, Enforcement, Coordination, & Uniform Response), which she said creates the Border Security Office within the Department of Homeland Security “to better coordinate our border response and continue fighting this humanitarian, economic, and enforcement crisis.”

“This new funding will expand the operation with critical investments in border security as well as resources to intercept the flow of fentanyl,” she said. “Every Arizonan should know we are taking significant and meaningful steps to keep them safe even when the federal government refuses to.”

‘Biden Is the Author of the Border Crisis’

In Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Mark Lamb recently told Fox Business that the Biden administration has been “adversarial” to Arizona law enforcement, which has been “trying to do our constitutional duty to secure our state.”

Sheriff Lamb, who is running for state senate, said President Joe Biden “is the author” of the border crisis and that “he could fix it tomorrow if he wanted to.”

Kansas state Sen. Roger Marshall told Fox Business that the border operations aren’t being facilitated by Mexican drug cartels so much as the Chinese Communist Party.

“The cartel is doing the dirty work but the Chinese triad is very sophisticated, Harvard-trained lawyers, Harvard-trained accountants that mastered the money laundering part of this,” he said. “So, you’re going to see massage parlors spring up and then next to them there might be a restaurant, there might be a hair salon or nail salon, those types of things.”

Sheriff Lamb responded to this by stating that, unlike former President Donald Trump, the Biden administration has no relationship with local law enforcement.

“This president has refused to meet with any of the sheriffs,” he said. “And what are you going to get as a byproduct? You are going to get Chinese nationals setting up human trafficking rings across this country using massage parlors, nail salons, and so many other things, trafficking children, and putting them in the sex trade. That is what’s going on.”

He added that President Biden has “blood on his hands” in relation to the death of Laken Riley, a nursing student in Georgia who was allegedly murdered by an illegal immigrant.

President Biden is also responsible for those who haven’t died yet, and those who are being sex trafficked, he said.

“This is on his hands as well,” Sheriff Lamb said, adding that 2024 will “double what came in last year.”

“So, yes, the CCP understands, they can traffic humans here and create this giant organization, and like Sen. Marshall said, they are very smart people,” Sheriff  Lamb said.

From The Epoch Times

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