Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill Allowing Police To Arrest Illegal Aliens

Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed the “Arizona Border Invasion Act” that would have allowed state and local law enforcement officials to arrest migrants who were crossing the southern border illegally.

“Anti-immigrant legislation to score cheap political points has no place in our state,” Hobbs said in a statement on Monday. “Today, I am delivering on my promise and I am vetoing Senate Bill SB1231.”

“This bill does not secure our border. On the contrary, it will be harmful for communities and businesses in our state, and a burden for law enforcement personnel. I know there’s frustration about the federal government’s failure to secure our border, but this bill is not the solution.”

The bill, S.B. 1231, also would have given authorities not only the ability to arrest illegal immigrants crossing the southern border but also to impose penalties of a maximum of six-month prison term for a first offense and a two-year maximum for additional offenses.

Arizona Senate Republicans did not agree and condemned Hobbs for vetoing legislation that they believed was critical to securing the Arizona border.

“SB 1231…would have established in Arizona law three border-related crimes with subsequent punishments. Local, county, and state law enforcement officers would have been granted authority to arrest any non-U.S. citizens who enter Arizona from anywhere but a lawful entrance point,” Republicans wrote in a statement.

The governor’s veto did not come as a surprise as she stated her intention to do so last month after both the House and Senate gave preliminary approval to the idea.

Texas passed a similar law that was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) but has been temporarily blocked by the Supreme Court after the Biden administration filed an emergency challenge.

Hobbs’ veto came as more than 250,000 illegal immigrants have been encountered at the border in Arizona’s Tucson sector in just the first four months of FY 2024. That marks an 182% increase from the first four months of 2023.

Hobbs has not yet responded to requests for comments about the veto.