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Secure the Border Act passes in Arizona Senate, heads back to House

Updated: Jun 3

Those in opposition criticize it as promoting racial profiling

By Renee Romo, KOLD 13 News

PHOENIX, Ariz. (13 News) - HCR 2060, also known as the Secure the Border Act, was passed in the Arizona Senate on Wednesday, May 22.

Republicans argued that the act will help secure the border.

But on and off the floor, those against the bill described it as racist and harmful to Arizona, with some protestors even interrupting the hearing.

Senators spent nearly four hours discussing the bill, which was most recently amended Wednesday morning.

A main point of the hearing is that the most recent amendment to the bill now excludes DACA recipients and anyone who crossed before the act is put in place.

That was the deciding factor for Senator Ken Bennett, R-D1, who was the reason the act didn’t pass last week.

“That is very important to me, that we’re not talking about trying to retroactively apply this to DACA individuals or anyone else frankly,” Bennett said.

But Senator Brian Fernandez, D-D4, disagreed on who should handle the issue.

“More needs to be done,” Fernandez said. “But it’s a federal responsibility, we can’t have local authorities enforcing something that really is what the federal government has been charged to do.”

Questions on clarification of the new amendment took center stage throughout the hearing.

The amendment includes that if law enforcement witnesses someone illegally crossing the border, or if there is footage of someone illegally crossing the border, either gives probable cause to arrest the individual.

But the main focus was on the third point, which is “any constitutionally sufficient” probable cause.

Which many senators described as broad and claimed that because of that, it could confuse voters into voting for it without fully understanding the bill.

With the amended bill being passed, it now heads back to the House, and if passed there, the issue will then be put into the hands of Arizona voters.

However, a spokesperson for LUCHA said that if it does get to that point, all it will do is mobilize young Latino voters to head to the polls to vote against it.

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