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Arizona voters will determine whether local police can arrest individuals for crossing the US-Mexico border

Arizona State Representatives (Via Marsha Stubbs/Getty Images)

The Arizona Legislature, controlled by Republicans, gave final approval on Tuesday to a measure asking voters to create a state crime for noncitizens entering Arizona from Mexico outside official entry points. The proposal will appear on the Nov. 5 ballot.

This decision coincided with President Joe Biden announcing plans to limit asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, stating, “This action will help regain control of our border and restore order to the process.”

Under Arizona’s approved proposal, passed 31-29 in the state House, state and local police would be authorized to arrest individuals crossing the border without authorization. It also grants state judges the authority to order those convicted to return to their home countries.

The measure bypasses Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who previously vetoed a similar bill in March and criticized efforts to bring the issue to voters.

Governor Hobbs expressed opposition to the bill’s approval, accusing legislative extremists of prioritizing political agendas over practical solutions.

Travis Grantham preps to speak at the capital (Via Marsha Stubbs/Getty Images)

She warned that the legislation would negatively impact Arizona’s economy, lead to job losses, hinder law enforcement, and strain the state budget, arguing that it would not enhance border security.

Before Tuesday’s session, House Republicans closed access to the upper gallery of the chamber, citing security concerns and potential disruptions. This move sparked immediate criticism from Democrats, who demanded the gallery be reopened.

In a party-line vote, House Republicans supported the proposal while all Democrats opposed it. Supporters argued the measure was necessary to safeguard Arizona’s southern border and believed voters should have a say on the issue.

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