GOP lawmaker surprisingly stalls Texas-style law from reaching border state voters

May 15, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

The vote on a controversial Arizona border security bill was delayed after a GOP lawmaker raised concerns about some of the language.

HCR 2060, otherwise known as the Secure the Border Act, was scheduled for a vote in the Arizona Senate but was held up by Republican State Sen. Ken Bennett, who voiced objections to some of the language in the bill.

Modeled after Texas’ controversial SB 4, the Arizona bill aims to give local law enforcement the tools to enforce federal border security laws, making it a crime to illegally cross the border.

SWING STATE GOP LOOKS TO GO AROUND DEM GOVERNOR, PUT TEXAS-STYLE BORDER BILL BEFORE VOTERS

But Bennett took issue with some of the language in the bill regarding recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, with the bill stating that the legal status of children who were brought to the U.S. illegally could change if the program was ever canceled, according to a report from KJZZ. 

“There was a nine-year window between 2012 and 2021 where people became DACA or received DACA status, and I don’t want anything in here that could be applied retrospectively,” Bennett said of the provision, according to the report.

The GOP lawmaker’s vote represents a crucial one thanks to a narrow majority for the Republican-led state senate, which cannot afford a single defection amid universal Democratic opposition to the legislation.

The passing of the bill was further complicated by the absence of Republican State Sen. Justine Wadsack, who was forced to miss the vote while attending to a family emergency in California, according to a report from AZ Family.

BORDER STATE GOP PUSHES TO DEFY WHITE HOUSE, ADOPT TX-STYLE IMMIGRATION LAW

Arizona’s Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs has also voiced opposition to the bill, arguing that the bill would do little to “secure our border.”

“On the contrary, it will be harmful for businesses and communities in our state and a burden for law enforcement personnel,” Hobbs said in a statement about the legislation. “I know there’s frustration about the federal government’s failure to secure our border, but this bill is not the solution.”

Hobbs vetoed a similar piece of legislation in March that made it a state crime to illegally cross the border, spawning a new effort by Republican lawmakers to pass a new version of the bill that would land on the ballot of Arizona voters in November.

Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen expressed optimism that the legislation would ultimately pass, telling Fox News Digital that he believed Bennett’s concerns had been addressed and that Wadsack would be able to return in time for a vote next week.

“We’re clarifying that they are exempt,” Petersen said of DACA recipients, the subject of Bennett’s concern.

Bennett’s office did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Meanwhile, Petersen argued that the bill was a valid solution to the state’s border security woes, noting the differences between the current legislation and a controversial 2010 Arizona law known as SB 1070, which eventually had portions struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012.

“This is not SB 1070,” Petersen said. “We’re truly just dealing with the border… this is truly a border security bill. It’s not an immigration bill.”

Arizona’s controversial HCR 2060 was stalled Tuesday over the concerns of a Republican State Senator, who argued for keeping protections for DACA recipients in place.[#item_full_content]

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