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Arizona lawmakers pass bill some compare to controversial SB 1070

On Wednesday, the Arizona legislature passed a bill that would make it a state crime to enter the country unauthorized.

By Danyelle Kharma, Arizona Public Media

Senate Bill 1231 would allow state and local law enforcement to arrest migrants suspected of crossing the border and would allow Arizona judges to issue orders of deportation.

Alejandra Gomez, Executive Director of Living United for Change in Arizona, a pro-immigrant organization compared the partisan bill to SB1070, a controversial 2010 law that the Supreme Court partially struck down.

“What we saw in 2010 was police officers acting as immigration agents,” Gomez said. “We saw entire neighborhoods completely cleared out because people were so fearful that they were going to be separated from their family. And so this is not the Arizona that we are.”

The bill would allow the state to charge people with a misdemeanor for entering the country unauthorized, for which they could face up to 6 months in jail or a felony and up to 2 years for repeat violations.

Governor Katie Hobbs has said she will veto the bill, calling it an anti-immigrant measure and, along with other partisan bills in the legislature, said it could cost the state hundreds of millions in investment.

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