State Capitol News
9:25 am
Mon June 16, 2014

State Legislator Pushes Plan on Out-of-State Migrants

A state lawmaker has come up with her own plan to deal with migrants being shipped here from Texas. Arizona Public Radio’s Howard Fischer explains.

Sen. Kelli Ward speaks during a committee meeting earlier this year.
Credit Cheryl Evans/The Republic


In a letter to Gov. Jan Brewer, Sen. Kelli Ward said the state does not have the resources to deal with families released at bus stations in Arizona by Customs and Border Protection. So she told Brewer if people cannot be kept from entering the country, they can be kept from coming to Arizona. She wrote, “Our Arizona National Guard could be activated to secure our borders with surrounding states, our constitutional sheriffs could band together and prevent busloads full of illegal aliens from entering Arizona.”

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said he understands Ward’s frustration. But he also said what she proposes is illegal.

“The Supreme Court has ruled on this issue and has said under the Supremacy Clause that it is the power and authority of the federal government. And as much as I disagree with President Obama and how he’s undermined the rule of law, essentially, even though he’s failed to do his job, this is his realm, regrettably,” Babeu said.

There’s also a logistical problem with Ward’s idea of having buses stopped at the state border and being turned around. The families being sent from Texas are being flown into the state. It is only after being processed by federal officials at Arizona sites they are being left at bus stations.