Arizonans will see Texas-inspired border law on November ballot after state House approval


In November, Arizona voters will get to decide whether they would like to give state and local law enforcement the authority to arrest those who illegally cross the Mexican border. 

After its public viewing gallery was closed on Tuesday, the Secure the Border Act was passed solely by GOP support. The measure was first passed by the Arizona Senate on May 22. 

“Arizonans have had enough and want change. They want safe communities and a secure border. House Republicans do too. That’s why we crafted HCR 2060, the Secure the Border Act, a ballot referral with meaningful reforms to protect the integrity of Arizona’s workforce, strengthen criminal laws, and reinforce the rule of law in this state,” Republican state House Speaker Ben Toma said in a statement.

Under the measure, a person convicted of crossing the border for the first time will be slapped with a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. State judges could then order a person to return to their home country at the end of their incarceration.


The legislation mirrors a Texas law that grants law enforcement the authority to arrest immigrants who cross the border illegally. However, a federal appeals court blocked that law just after the U.S. Supreme Court allowed it to go into effect.

The bill’s passage comes the same day as President Joe Biden’s executive order, which puts a limit on the number of asylum-seekers allowed to cross the border each day.