Arizona: WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: Business Leaders, Border Law Enforcement Oppose Job Killing, Anti-Business Ballot Referral HCR2060

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Grand Canyon Institute, ADCRR Predict Hundreds of Millions of Costs to State and Local Governments

Phoenix, AZ –  As extremists in the Legislature push HCR 2060, business leaders and law enforcement officials are sounding the alarm. Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Greater Phoenix Leadership, LocalFirstAZ, American Business Immigration Coalition, and bipartisan county attorneys from three border counties have come out calling on the Senate to protect Arizona's future and reputation and stop this measure from passing.

Additionally, the nonpartisan Grand Canyon Institute estimated the cost of the ballot referral at $325 million a year, while ADCRR projects "significant operational and fiscal impacts to the agency."

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Arizona Chamber of Commerce President Danny Seiden:

"The Arizona business community agrees with Gov. Katie Hobbs and the state Legislature: the federal government has failed in its job to secure our southern border. We call on Congress and the President to act – now – to secure our border, stop our asylum laws from being gamed, and crack down on human and fentanyl trafficking.

"We share the Legislature's frustration with the lack of federal action on immigration and border security. We also recognize that lawmaking at the ballot box is fraught with the potential for unintended consequences, and Arizona's Voter Protection Law would leave the Legislature nearly powerless to address them. By taking on this federal responsibility, we're saddling overburdened law enforcement and correctional agencies with a new, unfunded mandate."

Greater Phoenix Economic Council:

"The ongoing border crisis is a serious and challenging issue that Washington D.C. needs to solve. While the lack of federal action has sparked discussion around implementing measures at the state level, GPEC has serious concerns with the constitutional legalities and bill complexities of HCR2060 that would create potential hardship for our state's economy and our residents. The provisions pose a significant risk for our state's economy and our residents. The provisions pose a significant risk to Arizona's brand and our ability to continue to attract high-value companies to the region."

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Greater Phoenix Leadership:

"Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL) voices its opposition to HCR2060, an immigration measure that is an unworkable response to a federal problem with unknown consequences. This measure places an unfunded mandate on local law enforcement to enforce border policy and lacks the infrastructure needed to assume the federal responsibility of apprehension and detention."

Arizona Border Counties Coalition

"As communities with a front row seat to the issues impacting the border, we are the first to deal with the consequences of ineffective and inefficient policies coming out of Washington, D.C…We write today in opposition to Arizona House Concurrent Resolution 2060 that seeks to have city and county governments assume responsibilities that we believe should remain strictly a federal mandate.

"As signatories to this letter, we ask the Arizona State Legislature to keep a long-term perspective for what is best for Arizona, our future growth, and the relationship with our largest trading partner and the number one source of tourism dollars in our state."

Bipartisan Border Law Enforcement:

"The criminal provisions are unenforceable, bad public policy, and embarrassing for this state," - Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre

"But this, once again, places the burden on local agencies, including law enforcement and detention facilities, criminal justice practitioners and courts, to name a few, to use their already strained resources in order to pick up where the federal government left off-and with the local residents footing the bill." - Yuma County Attorney Jon Smith

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"Now, as Pima's top law enforcement official, I need all of our neighborhoods to trust our police and to participate as victims and witnesses in holding accountable those who would do us harm." - Pima County Attorney Laura Conover

AZ Central: Arizona prisons chief sounds $252M alarm on Republican-backed immigration ballot measure
  • The obligation would not only add millions to the state's prison spending, but it risks running afoul of a federal court injunction related to the state's handling of inmate medical care, Thornell said. The state is bound to honor certain health care and "conditions of confinement" requirements, which add up to more staff and operational costs, he said.
  • The potential added cost comes as the agency is seeking an extra $74 million this year and a roughly $203 million increase in the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Arizona faces a $1.3 billion deficit, split almost evenly between the current year and the coming budget year.
  • The measure, over time, will also sap the agency's ability to provide beds for all inmates, the memo states. Currently, the agency has 8,000 empty beds, or an 18% vacancy rate. But there is no staffing to go along with those 8,000 beds, should they fill up.
  • The memo then paints a dire scenario, assuming the current rate of incarceration along with 1,500 new border crossers each year: The need for a new prison.

Read the memo from ADCRR on fiscal and operational impacts HERE.

Additionally, the Grand Canyon Institute estimates the "plan" would cost $325 million a year.

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