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Arizona voters will decide fate of Texas-style border law at the ballot box

The Arizona House of Representatives approved a bill Wednesday that will allow voters to decide on the fate of the state’s border security.

Patterned after a Texas law, HCR 2060, titled the Secure the Border Act, passed the state House on a party-line vote, with Republicans holding a slim one-vote majority in the chamber.

The bill, which already passed through the Senate, would make it a crime to enter Arizona illegally and would allow local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws while also allowing state judges to deport people convicted of breaking the new law.

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

“Nothing good comes from open borders,” Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma said in a statement to the New York Post. “Only crime, deadly drugs, violence, unsafe communities, and an unending financial drain on American taxpayers. Yet, Democrat leaders fiercely oppose doing anything about it.”

Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed similar legislation earlier this year and has signaled opposition to the new effort, though this time the Republican bill will bypass the governor and be put in front of voters in November for approval.

“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.”

Katie Hobbs, Democratic governor of Arizona

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

But Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen has argued the bill, which was modeled after Texas’ controversial SB 4 legislation, is the right solution to secure the state’s border while also noting that it is not similar to an Arizona law known as SB 1070 that was partially struck down by the Supreme Court.

“This is not SB 1070,” Petersen told Fox News Digital last month as the bill made its way through the state’s Senate. “We’re truly just dealing with the border… this is truly a border security bill. It’s not an immigration bill.”

Immigrants crossing into Arizona at night

The new Arizona effort will now be put to voters on the same ballot they will decide between former President Trump and President Biden in this year’s election. 

Arizona, a critical swing state narrowly won by Biden in 2020, promises to be close again. According to the Real Clear Politics polling average in the state, Trump currently holds a four-point lead over Biden.

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