Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed a Republican-sponsored bill that would have authorized police to arrest illegal immigrants, saying the legislation was anti-immigrant and likely unconstitutional. 

The veto was criticized by Republicans who say the bill would have helped curb a plethora of crimes linked to illegal immigration in the Grand Canyon State.

The bill, called the Arizona Border Invasion Act, would have made it a misdemeanor state crime for anyone to illegally cross the border at any location other than a lawful port of entry.

It would also have made it a felony for illegal migrants who cross the border after being deported, as well as those who have been ordered to leave the state but refused to comply. Local, county and state law enforcement officers would have been granted authority to arrest such individuals.


Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs holds up an immigration bill she vetoed

Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has vetoed a Republican-sponsored bill that would have authorized police to arrest illegal immigrants, saying the legislation was anti-immigrant and likely unconstitutional. (YouTube)

“Anti-immigrant legislation to score cheap political points has no place in our state,” Hobbs said in a video posted to X before she vetoed the bill.

With narrow majorities in the state House and Senate, it’s unlikely Republicans would be able to get Democratic support for a veto override, which normally requires a two-thirds vote.

“This bill does not secure our border. On the contrary, it will be harmful for businesses and communities in our state and a burden for law enforcement personnel,” said Hobbs, although she did not say how the bill would have negatively impacted businesses and communities.

“I know there’s frustration about the federal government’s failure to secure our border, but this bill is not the solution.”

Hobbs also said the bill would have potentially violated the U.S. Constitution, arguing that the federal government has the exclusive power to arrest and deport immigrants.

Therefore, Hobbs said her veto would avoid a long and costly litigation effort involving the state.

The move was slammed by Arizona Republicans, who said the border crisis has led to an abundance of criminal activity in the state’s communities. The bill was passed without any Democratic support. 

Migrant lowered from Arizona border wall

A migrant was lowered from a border wall in Naco, Arizona, in exclusive Fox News video. (Fox News Channel)


“From human smuggling to child sex trafficking, rapes, murders, drug trafficking, fentanyl overdoses, high-speed chases, subsequent deadly crashes, and other atrocities, local law enforcement personnel have reached their breaking point trying to protect the lives of our citizens from this invasion,” the Arizona Senate Republican Caucus said in a statement. 

“The heart-wrenching February 22 murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley happened at the hands of a criminal who entered our country illegally. Arizona families are being torn apart by similar devastation,” said Sen. Janae Shamp, who sponsored the bill. 

“Vetoing the Arizona Border Invasion Act is a prime example of the chaos Hobbs is unleashing in our state while perpetuating this open border crisis as Biden’s accomplice. Arizonans want and deserve safe communities.”

Hobbs’ veto was her first of the 2024 legislative session, following a record-breaking 143 issued last year, thumping former Gov. Janet Napolitano’s single-year veto record of 58 in 2005. Hobbs took office in January 2023 after winning the gubernatorial election against Kari Lake, who never conceded her more than 17,000-vote defeat and repeatedly and unsuccessfully challenged the results in court.

Migrants are seen camped out near Lukeville, Arizona.

Migrants are seen camped out near Lukeville, Arizona, in December. (Fox News)


The Arizona Border Invasion Act mirrors Texas Senate Bill 4, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in December, making illegal immigration a state crime. SB 4 gives Texas authorities the ability to arrest anyone they believe has crossed into the U.S. illegally.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay of enforcement of the law.

Nearly 7.3 million migrants have illegally crossed the southwest border on President Biden’s watch, a number greater than the population of 36 individual states, a Fox News analysis has found. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *