Immigration in Arizona influencing policies and elections

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Immigration appears to be influencing Arizona’s policies, as attention is drawn to “invasion bills” in the legislature targeting illegal immigration.

Critics argue these proposals overreach. This was evident in the recent State of the Union, with blame exchanged between parties. President Joe Biden praised a bipartisan bill as a conservative achievement, while former President Donald Trump allegedly urged GOP lawmakers to oppose it. GOP representatives attribute the increase in undocumented workers to the Biden Administration.

We spoke to immigration reporter Rafael Carranza of “The Arizona Republic,” who recently explored immigration’s impact on Arizona’s policies.

“This bill (‘The Arizona Invasion Act’) is essentially modeled after another law that was signed in Texas, so they passed it, and the Governor signed it into law earlier this year. It’s currently being held up in courts. The Supreme Court stayed this bill, but it kind of goes to show that what succeeds in one area is likely to be replicated elsewhere,” said Carranza.

“This bill essentially, as a Texas bill would do, would allow the state to prosecute immigration cases and for judges to decide immigration cases, which is something that up until this point has been exclusively the domain of the federal government, not local or state authority,” Carranza further explained.

Carranza also explained the bill would give civil immunity and compensation rights to officers involved in detaining and arresting migrants.

Bill HCR 2060, which is being packaged in with the Invasions Bill, would not allow illegal migrants to be able to be beneficiaries of any programs (with the exception of DACA recipients) that are state-funded.

Because HCR 2060 is a resolution, it does not require a governor’s signature; if it passes in the legislature, it will head to voters in November.

Carranza also discussed the controversial HB 2042 bill, which would make it legal for property owners to shoot and kill migrants who trespass on their property illegally as they enter the U.S. The bill was created by lawmakers after an Arizona rancher fatally shot a migrant on his property in 2023. Carranza expressed doubts that the bill would get very far, citing it was very unlikely to get passed by Governor Hobbs.

Carranza doesn’t believe many immigration bills in general will be getting passed anytime soon.

“Everything seems to indicate that at this point, it is a major election topic, and that’s by design. You have the presidential forerunner Donald Trump on the Republican side, who has signaled that this will be kind of one of his signature issues. And so, because it is an election year, the likelihood of any laws passed around this, I think, is even less than it already is. I don’t anticipate that we’ll see any major legislation passing this year,” Carranza said.

Rafael Carranza, Immigration Reporter at "The Arizona Republic"

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