Home>Crime>Hobbs Veto of Border Protection Bill Signals 2024 Tone
State Senator Janae Shamp and State Representative Gail Griffin at a press conference hosted by Border 911 at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona.
State Senator Janae Shamp and State Representative Gail Griffin at a press conference hosted by Border 911 at the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Hobbs Veto of Border Protection Bill Signals 2024 Tone

Starts off her latest veto journey by rejecting the Arizona Border Invasion Act

By Steve Kirwan, March 6, 2024 8:20 am

On Monday, March 4, 2024, Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs fired her first veto salvo of 2024 by rejecting Senate Bill SB1231, dubbed the “Arizona Border Invasion Act.” The bill, which passed both houses on a straight party vote, parallelled a Texas law making illegal border entry into Arizona a Class 1 felony and giving state law enforcement the ability to arrest and deport migrants. Under the new bill, first-time offenders would have received a six-month jail sentence unless they elected to return to Mexico voluntarily.

Despite hopes that Hobbs’s recent criticisms of the Biden administration’s border failures signaled possible acceptance of the bill, Hobbs aped the sentiments of many immigrant rights groups, insisting that such laws do more harm than good.

In her veto letter, Hobbs wrote, “This 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.”

In an email response to the veto, the bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Janae Shamp (R-LD29), wrote, “The Legislature did its job to protect our citizens, but Governor Hobbs failed to do hers. Arizonans want and deserve safe communities. Our local, county, and state law enforcement officers are pleading for help, and they support this legislation to protect our citizens.” She added, “This veto is a slap in the face to (law enforcement), Arizona’s victims of border-related crimes, and other citizens who will inevitably feel the wrath of this border invasion in one way, shape, or form at the hands of Hobbs and Biden.”

However, illegal immigrant rights supporters celebrated Hobbs’ veto.

Noah Schramm of Arizona’s ACLU chapter wrote, “Just like its predecessor, SB1070, this bill would have illegally side-stepped protections guaranteed under federal law, led to even greater harassment of communities of color, and advanced a dishonest and dangerous narrative about immigrants in our state. Legislation like SB1231 has no place in Arizona where immigrants are our friends, family, and neighbors; but rather than protecting Arizona communities, extremist lawmakers are only concerned with inciting hateful divisions.”

Alejandra Gomez, the executive director of the pro-immigrant group Living United for Change in Arizona, concurred, stating, “Today we thank Governor Hobbs for striking a major blow to Arizona Republicans’ attempt to bring in a new era of anti-immigrant hate and legalized racial profiling to our state. SB1231 doesn’t solve the humanitarian crisis at the border, and it would have inflicted tremendous harm to Arizona communities.”

Hobbs has a history of vetoing Republican-led legislation, issuing a record-shattering 143 vetoes last year, the most of any Arizona governor in history. Republicans believed the bill critical in the face of a massive uptick in illegal border crossings into Arizona after Texas effectively shut down illicit crossings in its state.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Steve Kirwan
Spread the news:


Leave a Reply

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