Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs Vetoes First 2024 Bill, Rejects GOP’s ‘Border Invasion Act’

Gov. Katie Hobbs used her first veto of the year to reject a bill proposed by Republicans that aimed to grant the state the authority to regulate illegal border crossings.

On Monday, Hobbs, vetoed Senate Bill 1231, also known as the “Arizona Border Invasion Act.” In her veto letter, Hobbs pointed out “notable constitutional issues” and the potential for expensive and drawn-out legal battles if the bill were to be enacted.

Hobbs stated that the proposed legislation does not effectively protect our borders, which could have negative consequences for the wellbeing of our communities and businesses in the state. Additionally, she expressed concern that the bill could place a heavy burden on both law enforcement personnel and the state judicial system.

Last month, the bill was passed by the Senate and House through party-line votes, with the support of only Republicans, and was subsequently sent to Hobbs’ desk.

The legislation, proposed by Senator Janae Shamp from Surprise, would criminalize the act of crossing the Arizona-Mexico border at any point other than an official port of entry.

Additionally, it grants authority to both local and state law enforcement to apprehend individuals who violate this law. Punishments for this offense include misdemeanor charges, but can escalate to felony charges for those with a criminal record or prior deportation.

In a statement released on Monday, Shamp expressed disappointment in Governor Hobbs for failing to fulfill her duty to safeguard the people of our state, despite the Legislature’s efforts. He believes the veto of the Arizona Border Invasion Act is a clear demonstration of the turmoil that Hobbs is causing in our state, as she continues to support the ongoing border crisis as an accomplice to President Biden. Many at the legislature feel the residents of Arizona deserve and demand secure communities.

According to Hobbs, on Monday she stated that it is completely incorrect to claim that her office has not taken any action on border security. She cited the funding provided to organizations at the border and for law enforcement as evidence.

According to her, the proposed bills do not effectively tackle the border security concerns that we are currently facing.

The bill was met with opposition from Democratic lawmakers and immigrant advocates due to a multitude of reasons. These included concerns over the potential for racial profiling and the belief that it violated the constitution. It should be noted that immigration policy and enforcement have been designated as federal responsibilities by both federal law and court decisions, rather than being left to the discretion of states or local jurisdictions.

In 2023, Hobbs set a new veto record by issuing a total of 143 vetoes.