Arizona Lawmakers Allow Border Residents To Build Walls First, Ask Permission Later

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Friday, February 7, 2020 - 8:49am
Updated: Friday, February 7, 2020 - 8:50am

Arizona's Republican lawmakers voted in the House this week to let residents living along the border build walls without first getting a permit.

They're calling the motive behind House Bill 2084 a matter of property rights and security. However, House Democrats say it is sending precisely the wrong message to our southern neighbors whom we rely on for ongoing trade relations.

"What they will be seeing is a message under the imprimatur —  the seal of the great state of Arizona," said Rep. Diego Rodriguez, pointing out the greeting on state signs along the state line.

Instead of welcoming legal border crossers, he said it will tell them, "that we prefer a wall to friendship, that we prefer a wall to cooperation."

The vote came down along party lines, passing 31-29. That's different from last week, when Rep. Tony Rivero was the sole Republican voting against the bill.

Since then, the bill got an amendment stating the property owner must provide the local government with a statement by a professional engineer that the wall "was built according to the plan and safety requirements.'' That filing, however, does not need to come until two months after completion.

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