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Special Project: America's Wall: Decades-Long Struggle To Secure US-Mexico Border

Arizona Lawmakers Consider Funding Armed, Volunteer Militia

Audio

Arizona lawmakers will consider funding an armed state guard to help with border enforcement. This bill is the latest in a series which asserts the state’s right to deal with illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

— Arizona lawmakers will consider funding an armed state guard to help with border enforcement. This bill is the latest in a series which asserts the state’s right to deal with illegal immigration and drug trafficking.

Legislators say it will cost almost $2 million to activate the guard, which was created last year. They want to pay volunteers a daily stipend while on duty.

Critics wonder how the state will vet these volunteers, and the general of the Arizona National Guard expressed concern about volunteers carrying weapons -- something no other state guard allows.

Clint Bolick, with the Goldwater Institute, said that like most of Arizona’s other bills pushing for state sovereignty, this one could end up in federal court.

"It depends on how these officers are going to be deployed. If they are simply enforcing Arizona laws, I don’t see that there would a problem," Bolick said. "If they are deployed to the border to deal with border issues – probably see another lawsuit."

The bill goes before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday morning.

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