Friday 7 June 2024

Arizonans To Vote On Ballot Measure That Would Make Illegal Immigration State Crime

 Voters in Arizona will have the opportunity to enact broad border security measures in November as the state faces a flood of illegal immigration after the Republican-led state legislature passed a resolution that will put the measures on the general election ballot. 

The measures, collectively known as the “Secure the Border Act,” include provisions making illegal immigration a state crime, meaning law enforcement will be allowed to arrest illegal immigrants who enter the state. Other states, like Texas and Oklahoma, have enacted similar laws. 

“Nothing good comes from open borders,” Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma said in a statement after the House passed the measure, accordingto the New York Post. “Only crime, deadly drugs, violence, unsafe communities, and an unending financial drain on American taxpayers. Yet, Democrat leaders fiercely oppose doing anything about it.”

The measure passed 31-29 in the House and 16-13 in the Senate with Republicans in support and Democrats in opposition. 

The ballot initiative could drive voters concerned with illegal immigration to the polls — which could hurt President Joe Biden, who has been broadly criticized for his handling of illegal immigration, in the swing state. 

According to the text of the resolution, it would empower “law enforcement to protect the public by arresting aliens who fail to enter Arizona’s southern border through official ports of entry.”

It would also create “criminal offenses for a person to knowingly present false documents to obtain public benefits or to evade workplace eligibility detection through the e-verify program” and increase “punishments for criminals who fuel the crisis at the southern border by selling fentanyl that causes the death of another person.”

Additionally, the resolution would enhance Arizona law to ensure that individuals illegally in the state would not be able to receive public benefits or become eligible for entitlement programs. 


The ballot initiative will give Arizona voters a chance to bypass Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs, who vetoed a bill that would have enacted similar measures earlier this year. Hobbs claimed the legislation would “demonize our communities and lead to racial profiling.” 

“Arizonans are crying out for common sense security measures,” Republican Senate candidate Kari Lake told NBC News. “I am encouraged that Arizona Republican state legislators are doing their best to deliver it — even if they have to go around Hobbs’ veto to do it.”

Record levels of illegal immigrants have poured across the border under Biden, including in Arizona. Former President Donald Trump has made securing the border a large part of his 2024 presidential campaign. 

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