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Gov. Hobbs says latest Republican-backed immigration bills are job killers

Governor Hobbs criticized Republican lawmakers for a package of immigration bills that she believes will harm Arizona's economy and jobs.

By Dennis Welch, AZ Family

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)Gov. Katie Hobbs blasted Republican lawmakers on Monday over a package of immigration bills she said would kill jobs and businesses in the state even though she has the power to reject most of the proposals.

“These bills will simply raise costs, hurt our farmers, put Arizona entrepreneurs out of business, and destroy jobs for countless working class Arizonans,” Hobbs said in a written statement.

Of the three bills Hobbs called out in a press release, she has the authority to veto two of them that would make it a state crime for an undocumented immigrant to enter Arizona illegally.

SB 1231 and HB 2821 also raise constitutional questions because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states don’t have the authority to enforce federal immigration law.

But a third immigration bill poses a bigger problem for Hobbs because it is mostly out of her control.

Republicans can bypass the governor’s veto stamp and send HCR 2060 to the voters in the fall. Unlike normal bills, the GOP only needs a simple majority of the Legislature to refer an issue to the ballot. House Speaker Ben Toma, a Republican from Peoria, is the sponsor of the proposal ballot measure, which he called “one of the toughest anti-immigration laws ever written.”

If passed by voters, it would expand laws requiring employers to verify the immigration status of their workers and make it harder for migrants to obtain a public benefit. Employers could face a class 6 felony and a $10,000 fine if they did not use the E-Verify system to confirm citizenship status.

“Democrats at every level willfully refuse to fix this unprecedented crisis caused by their own open border policies. It’s time that Arizona voters ask them why,” Toma said in response to Hobbs’ comments.

Toma, an immigrant from Eastern Europe, is also running in a contested primary for an open congressional in the northwest Valley.

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