PHOENIX — An Arizona House Republican introduced a bill on Tuesday that would give the state the right to refuse refugees, according to Fox News.
Legislation proposed by Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, would allow Arizona to refuse refugees who have not been “properly screened and vetted” for terrorism risks. Thorpe said the measure would also require the federal government’s refugee resettlement program to repay any costs to the state.
House Bill 2691, a separate bill proposed by Republican House Speaker David Gowan, would require an audit of the refugee resettlement program.
According to the article, Thorpe said he believes Arizona can determine their immigration policies, although the immigration law has federal jurisdiction.
“We’re a sovereign state, I truly believe we should have a say in it,” he said in an interview with Fox News. “I want to make sure that this person isn’t going to come here and do bodily harm to our citizens, isn’t showing up with severe communicable health issues, things like that.”
The measure isn’t the state’s first attempt to turn away refugees in need. Shortly after the Paris attacks in November, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Arizona would stop allowing refugees in the state. The announcement sparked many protests around the state, most notably at the state Capitol.
Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said in an interview with Fox News safety concerns still remain in regard to accepting refugees, but declined to say whether federal law could prevent the proposed state action.