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State House Republicans support new legislation to combat Arizona’s border crisis

House Bill 2748 is sponsored by Representative Joseph Chaplik (R-Arizona), and is modeled after Texas SB 4

PHOENIX (KYMA, KECY) - All Republican members of the state House of Representatives are supporting a new legislation called HB 2748 to combat the border crisis in Arizona and to protect Arizonans.

House Republicans listed the key provisions of HB 2748 to include:

  • Establishing a class 1 misdemeanor (or a class 6 felony for subsequent offenses) for individuals entering Arizona from a foreign country as aliens, except through legal ports of entry.
  • Imposing a class 1 misdemeanor for aliens re-entering the U.S. through Arizona if they were previously deported, excluded, or left while a deportation or exclusion order was pending.
    • Elevating the offense to a class 3 felony if the alien was removed due to multiple drug misdemeanors, federal inadmissibility, terrorism involvement, or removal following a nonviolent crime.
    • Elevating the offense to a class 2 felony if the alien was removed after committing a felony.
  • Providing for an order of return for aliens violating the law, with failure to comply constituting a class 2 felony.
  • Granting immunity from civil liability for local and state government officials, employees, and contractors enforcing the law, with indemnification for civil actions under federal law.
  • Mandating the Arizona Attorney General to pursue all available remedies to recover federal reimbursements for state costs incurred due to illegal immigration.

According to the press release, HB 2748 received approval from the House Military and Public Safety Committee late Monday.

The bill now advances for consideration by the full House.

Border sheriffs in Arizona mentioned the severity of the open border crisis in a special joint legislative session.

In the press release, it mentioned Cochise County's sheriff's office investigated 601 border-related crimes that involve felony victims.

There was one case mentioned to legislators about a teen driver who attempted to evade border law enforcement and drove 140 miles per hour before crashing while transporting four migrants.

The press release said legislators were also told that nearly a quarter of all fentanyl seized in the U.S. in 2022 was confiscated in or within 20 miles of Cochise County.

House Republicans urged Governor Hobbs and Attorney General Mayes in August to hold President Biden accountable for his failed border policies in court, to no avail.

During that time, the border crisis continued to escalate:

  • Encounters at Southwest border in FY2023 increased over 40 percent since FY2021.
  • 169 migrants on the terrorist watch list tried to cross the southern border in the past year.
  • 24,000 Chinese nationals were apprehended crossing into the U.S. from Mexico.

“Under the Biden administration, the consistent refusal to enforce our nation’s federal immigration laws has led to an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration across our southern border, constituting a historic invasion. Despite the legislature’s repeated calls for action, President Biden and Congress has failed to address this crisis. This dereliction of duty has allowed open-border policies to prevail, undermining the rule of law.”

“The consequences are dire: an uncontrolled border presents both security and humanitarian crises. The surge in violence, coupled with the rampant smuggling of illegal drugs, weapons, and human beings, poses an imminent threat to our communities, our state, and the safety of innocent Americans. It is imperative that we act swiftly to secure our borders and restore order, safeguarding the integrity of our nation and protecting our citizens. Just as the State of Texas is defending itself, this bill will allow the State of Arizona to defend itself at the border.”

Representative Chaplik

Article Topic Follows: Arizona News

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