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IN FOCUS - May 10, 2024

Arizona Republicans, fresh from a caucus-splintering vote to repeal the state’s territorial era abortion ban, returned to more favorable ground this week.

The U.S./Mexico border.

Doing the job the feds won’t do” has been a winning border-security message for the AZGOP in past cycles. With illegal immigration at record levels, and President Biden taking much of the blame, Republicans hope border issues dominate the public debate and blunt focus on abortion (where Democrats have a ballot measure of their own).

If approved by voters, the "Secure the Border Act” would be one of the nation’s toughest state-level immigration laws. Among its provisions, it would authorize local law enforcement to arrest suspected illegal immigrants. The proposal harkens back to SB 1070, which was enacted in 2010 but mostly stricken down by SCOTUS a couple years later.

A new court is in place now, however, and it’s one remade in Donald Trump’s image. The Secure the Border Act is modeled after a Texas law now being challenged in the courts and potentially headed for High Court review. If the Texas law survives, that would clear the way for the Arizona measure.

First, though, it has to be referred to the ballot (which is expected as early as next week) and must meet with approval by Arizona voters in November. Expect a hard-fought campaign and rehashing of many of the same themes and arguments that we saw nearly 15 years ago.

The more things change …


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