Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes GOP-backed bill on border crossing, says it’s a political ploy

Mar 4, 2024, 8:45 PM | Updated: 8:53 pm

PHOENIX — Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed Senate Bill 1231, according to a Monday announcement.

Also known as the Arizona Border Invasion Act, this GOP-backed bill would have made it illegal for people who aren’t U.S. citizens to enter Arizona through places that aren’t lawful points of entry.

Critics of the bill called it unconstitutional and contrary to federal law. They also said it contradicted court precedents that leave immigration policy to federal leaders — not state or local jurisdictions.

Hobbs also called the bill unconstitutional in a letter she sent to Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen on Monday. She said it could trigger long and costly lawsuits.

Senate Bill 1231 targeted immigrants, Gov. Katie Hobbs says

“This bill does not secure our border,” Hobbs said. “(It) will be harmful for communities and businesses in our state.”

She said it would also be “burdensome” for the state’s judicial systems and law enforcement agencies.

Hobbs went further on social media by calling the bill anti-immigration legislation meant to score political points.

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

Republicans respond to governor’s first veto of 2024

Arizona Senate Republicans released a statement in response to the veto, calling her actions irresponsible. They said the bill would have given law enforcement the ability to protect Arizonans from “heinous crimes,” citing the death of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley.

A Venezuelan man who illegally entered the U.S. murdered Riley in late February, according to the Associated Press.

“Arizona families are being torn apart by similar devastation,” Arizona Sen. Janae Shamp said in a statement.

Shamp, who sponsored the bill, called this veto a slap in the face.

“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,” Shamp said.

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Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoes GOP-backed bill on border crossing, says it’s a political ploy