Arizona Republicans Advance A Bill To Legalize Killing Migrants Suspected Of Trespassing

Source: Flickr/US Customs and Border Protection / Flickr/Brad Prudhon

Imagine a situation where Americans are legally permitted to gun down illegal immigrants. Many argue that such a world is chaotic, while others think the current situation warrants it. Nevertheless, this scenario may soon become a reality in Arizona.

The Arizona State House recently passed a bill that wants to make it legal to kill immigrants. These asylum seekers must first be on the person’s private property, and afterward, they can shoot them.

Arizona’s Immigration Problem

Before diving any deeper, it’s worth providing some context. Arizona took center stage in America’s immigration problem as it encountered a record-high number of migrants. How bad was it?

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The number of asylum seekers from Mexico flooding into the state exceeded other American states for five consecutive months. While it decreased in 2024, the number is significant, and people are furious.

The Government’s Solution

People were irritated at the president’s inability to protect the borders, resulting in an influx of immigrants. So, the Arizona government proposed a controversial solution that involved ending the lives of these immigrants.

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Essentially, the Arizona government has pushed a bill that allows its citizens to shoot down immigrants found on their property. This upcoming law is a modification of the “Castle Doctrine”, allowing landlords to lethally protect themselves from intruders.

‘The Government Allows Anyone Into The Country’

It’s worth noting that this “extreme” bill came from people’s frustration with the federal government. They claim the Biden administration welcomed everyone into America without regard for its people.

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Even Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, expressed his frustration. He said: “When you have a situation where the federal government has turned the Border Patrol into a welcome wagon that actually encourages more illegal immigration, that is the time that states must step up and do their part.”

‘The Government Doesn’t Allow Everyone In’

The primary argument for this controversial bill is that the government allows too many immigrants into the country. Various news reports show that the statement is false and that there are requirements to cross the border.

Source: Wikimedia/CBP

People hoping to enter America for asylum must meet some strict criteria first. Also, most people crossing the southwest border have been removed, returned, or expelled. Combine these facts with the declining immigration, and Arizona may struggle with justifying its bill.

So What Are The Parameters Of The Bill?

The new bill, known as “House Bill 2843,” will expand the rights of landowners in Arizona against the influx of migrants. How? It modifies the castle doctrine, allowing landlords to use force if the immigrant is on someone’s property or land.

Source: Wikimedia/Carol M. Highsmith

Republican lawmaker Justin Heap explains this bill. He said: “If a farmer owns 10,000 acres of farmland, his home may be a half a mile away from where he is, and if he sees someone on his land, can he approach them and (remove) them from his property? This is an amendment to fix that.”

There’s Also A Bill To Arrest ‘Suspected’ Immigrants

While Arizona plans to empower its citizens with House Bill 2843, there’s another one worth noting. This proposed Senate Bill 1231 will allow Arizona police to arrest migrants they suspect crossed the border illegally.

Source: Wikimedia/CBP Photography

If found guilty, the Arizona police can charge the offender with a class 1 misdemeanor. They will face jail time or receive the option to return to Mexico. What about repeat offenders? The lawmakers plan to issue harsher sentences for such people.

Criticism Of Arizona’s New Bill

Several news outlets and online forums were shocked by Arizona’s New Bill. Some explained their issues with killing immigrants or apprehending suspects. Democrat lawmakers argue that the proposal will make it easier to racially profile Mexicans.

Source: Flickr/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Some migrants entered the country legally, but the proposal lets the police detain and question Mexicans they consider suspicious. Amongst these critics is Sen. Rosanna Gabaldon, D-Sahuarita, who pleads with Arizona to consider the potential harm of this proposal.

Arizona Tried To Implement The Same Law In 2010

As experts criticized Arizona, they reminded the state of how a similar law failed. In 2010, Arizona passed a controversial anti-immigrant law called SB1070. It required Mexicans to show their passport and prove they were legal.

Source: Wikimedia/CBP Photograph

The result was that several immigrants were harassed, leaving the minority traumatized. Eventually, the US Supreme Court intervened just two years after Arizona passed the law. The court struck down three of the law’s provisions and determined the state tried to usurp the government’s authority.

SB1070 Damaged Arizona’s Reputation

Arizona ended up paying $1.4 million in litigation after the Supreme Court intervened. The effect still looms around the country today, and lawmakers are yet to solve it entirely.

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Sen. Flavio Bravo, D-Phoenix, commented on the 2012 situation. He said: “Our state went on to pay over $1.4 million in litigation (over SB1070), only for unconstitutional provisions to be removed. Our reputation as a state was damaged, and during a time when we are facing a budget deficit.”

‘It Is Irresponsible To Repeat The Same Mistake’

Sen. Flavio Bravo, D-Phoenix, finished his comment by saying that it is “irresponsible to repeat the same mistakes of the past that would only invite more costly lawsuits.”

Source: Wikimedia/Eric Draper

Essentially, he predicts Arizona may meet the same fate as its 2012 mistake. If the Supreme Court eventually overturns Arizona’s New law, it could damage the state further.

There’s No Concrete Support For The New Law

After this much criticism against the law, are Arizona lawmakers still confident of the bill? Shockingly, no one has shown concrete support for the proposals.

Source: Wikimedia/Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde

Sen. Janae Shamp, R-Surprise, said everyone in the Arizona Sheriff’s Association supported the bill. However, evidence shows that the group didn’t take an official position on the measure. No law enforcement group has stepped out to support the controversial bill.

Republican Are Still Persistent

No organization has shown support for the new bill, but that’s not enough to sway Republicans. They keep touting the bill’s importance, saying it’s essential for protecting the people against fentanyl.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House from Washington

While Mexico is the leading producer of fentanyl, illegal immigrants aren’t responsible for its distribution. Police reports recently showed that legal Americans get hired by the cartel to carry them into America.

The Bill May Get Rejected

Different political commentators are confident that the new Arizona bill won’t become law. They claim that it’s inhumane and contests the United States Constitution.

Source: Wikimedia/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

At the same time, Arizona Tried a similar stunt in 2010 but received penalties from the US Supreme Court. Therefore, implementing this proposal will only be history repeating itself.

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Mary Scrantin

Written by Mary Scrantin

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