top of page

This anti-immigrant ballot measure would likely deliver Arizona to Joe Biden

The generation that successfully fought SB 1070 hasn’t gone away and remains organized and politically active to fight HCR 2060.


By Julio Ricardo Varela, MSNBC


Republicans in the Arizona Senate have resurfaced an immigration ballot measure that would ask voters this November to make illegally crossing the border a state crime. Though Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, vetoed a similar bill this year, that hasn’t stopped the state’s Republicans from keeping House Concurrent Resolution 2060 (HCR 2060) alive to gain political points and give local law enforcement more authority to criminally charge undocumented individuals.


Republicans putting another reiteration of the state’s 2010 “show me your papers” law on the November ballot would be a gift to President Joe Biden.


But Republicans putting another reiteration of the state’s 2010 “Show me your papers” law on the November ballot would be a gift to President Joe Biden. The generation that successfully fought SB 1070 hasn’t gone away and remains organized and politically active.


Arizona is one of the states where Biden is trailing former President Donald Trump, according to a poll this week from The New York Times and Siena College.

He’s winning Latinos by 10 points in that poll, but HCR 2060 could be an issue that pushes Latino turnout and support for Biden higher. According to Pew Research, Latinos make up 25% of the state’s eligible voters, accounting to 1.3 million voters. The NALEO Education Fund estimates that more than “855,000 Latinos are expected to cast ballots this November in Arizona, which mirrors the 2020 Latino turnout and is an increase of 57.5 percent from 2016.”


Arizona Latinos helped deliver the state and the presidency to Biden in 2020 after Hilary Clinton lost the state to Trump in 2016. They also helped elect Democrats for governor and the U.S. Senate in 2022.


Immigrant rights activists have been protesting at the state Capitol in Phoenix against HCR 2060, arguing that the measure, if put on the ballot and then approved by voters, would lead to racial profiling and targeting of immigrant communities, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and those who’ve lived in Arizona much longer.


HCR 2060 was expected to be voted on this week, but a Republican legislator signaled his disapproval of some of the measure’s provisions, particularly the prospect that it could make an estimated 20,000 DACA recipients subject to deportation. As of now, the measure has been stalled, which means Arizona’s Generation SB 1070 has earned another political victory, even if it’s temporary.


“I do think that the Latino vote is very strong and we’re ready to come out to the polls,” 25-year-old Karime Rodríguez, a services and immigration manager for LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona) told me Wednesday morning via a phone interview. “Despite everything that’s happening politically, these are humanitarian issues. And especially myself, I’m a young Latina, I’m a student, and all the communities that I’m around are ready to fight. Back then during SB 1070, it was just our parents, the original dreamers, but now it’s all of us.”


Rodríguez, a DACA recipient who is now on the path to naturalization, acknowledges that some Latinos in her community might be drifting away from President Biden, but she emphasizes that generation SB 1070 is not going anywhere and is getting more politically mature and better organized.


The politics of HCR 2060 couldn’t come at a better time for Biden and Democrats.

“All eyes are on Arizona this election season to see what’s going to happen. But as we’ve shown in the past, our community will come out in waves to make sure that we are voting for measures that benefit us and all of our community members,” Rodríguez says. “We’ll do that again this year. I think that when you oppress a group for so long that there is a time where you know we get tired of fighting, we get tired of being on the defensive side, but at the same time we leave our guard down when measures like HCR 2060 slip through the cracks without us knowing, and we can’t let that happen.”


On Tuesday, the action fund of UnidosUS, the largest Latino civil rights group in the country, chose Arizona to formally endorse Biden.


There are indications that Biden is trending up again nationally with Latinos, and unlike the NYT poll, a poll from the Latino Community Foundation released at the start of May shows Biden leading Trump by 20 points with Arizona Latinos.


On Tuesday, the action fund of UnidosUS, the largest Latino civil rights group in the country, chose Arizona to formally endorse Biden. That said, Arizona is neither in the Biden camp nor the Trump one. If HCR 2060 reaches the ballot (even if there are provisions that protect DACA recipients) Rodríguez is one of many organizers who is fully confident that the measure can be defeated. In addition to Arizona electing Democrats as governor and senator in 2022, grassroots organizers worked hard to pass Proposition 308, which opened up in-state tuition to anyone in Arizona who attended state high schools for at least two years. There is no doubt that they can defeat HCR 2060.


“If the measure passes, then it goes to the ballot, and it’ll be in the hands of Arizonans to vote on this, on this measure,” Rodríguez says. “Arizonans have more sympathy and empathy towards migrants, and although our southern border is always used in the news as a spectacle, what surveys actually show within our state is that people want solutions to help migrants. And so, I do believe that in the polls, we’ll be able to shut it down.”


And if they do, they’ll likely shut down any hopes of Trump winning the state, too.


9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page