UnidosUS: State Lawmakers Advance Ballot Measure Likely to Result in Widespread Discrimination and Harm Against Latinos in Arizona

Phoenix, AZ – Last night, lawmakers in the Arizona Senate Military Affairs, Public Safety and Border Security Committee voted 4 to 3 to advance a ballot measure on immigration through the “Secure the Border Act,” a modified version of the House Concurrent Resolution 2060 (HCR 2060), which includes a set of harsh anti-immigrant proposals previously vetoed by Governor Katie Hobbs. HCR 2060 goes further than the Texas law it was modeled after by extending enforcement measures to schools, healthcare facilities and places of worship. The legislation also includes significant fiscal repercussions for the state. According to the Grand Canyon Institute, the collective implementation cost estimates would surpass $325 million per year. Arizona’s current budget deficit stands at $1.8 billion.

“This ballot measure is the culmination of multiple failed attempts to advance the harshest anti-immigrant legislation in the country,” said Enrique Davis-Mazlum, Arizona State Advocacy Director for UnidosUS. “If approved, this ballot measure opens the door to significant harm and discrimination, including racial profiling for immigrant and Latino Arizonans, in places of trust and safety such as schools, churches and hospitals. It would also harm the economic future of the state with its exorbitant implementation cost at a time when many Arizonans are struggling with the increasing cost of living and healthcare. This takes us back, not forward.”

Fourteen years ago, SB1070 was signed into law, marking one of the harshest bills targeting immigrants and people of color, particularly Latinos, in state history. Since then, Arizona has made strides toward inclusivity and becoming a welcoming state. The future of Arizona is intertwined with the future of the Latino community. Any legislation that hurts Latinos, hurts Arizona. Lawmakers must put aside partisan politics and prioritize the public safety, economy and reputation of the state, starting with withdrawal of HCR 2060.