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Border & Immigration

Arizona Legislature Debates State Travel Warning System

The proposal would cover an area south of Tucson to the U.S.-Mexico border. Some community leaders oppose it.

Arizona Travel Warning
Arizona Travel Warning

For years, the United States government has issued travel warnings for visitors to Mexico. But now, state lawmakers want one issued for southern Arizona.

That has upset community leaders along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. They say a state travel warning will scare tourists away.

The proposed bill would create a state border warning system. It’s vaguely written, but states that the Arizona Department of Homeland Security will monitor threats of terrorism or, illegal immigration ranging from six miles south of the border to 62 miles north, roughly, just south of Tucson. If the threat seems real, the agency would warn the public.


Peggy Judd, a Republican state representative from Nogales, sponsored the bill. Judd didn’t respond to repeated requests for an interview.

Douglas, Ariz. Mayor Michael Gomez is livid. Cochise County is a popular tourist spot for retirees and weekenders. He says warning tourists about illegal immigration is going to frighten them off when there’s no real risk.

"I have a message for Mrs. Judd: She can pack her gun. She’s going to need it in South Phoenix more than she’s going to need it in Southern Arizona,” Gomez said.

Read Text Of Proposed Travel Warning Bill
Read the proposal for an Arizona travel warning bill that is being considered in the state legislature.
To view PDF files, download Acrobat Reader.

One of the bill’s co-sponsors is State Representative Katie Hobbs, a Phoenix area Democrat. She says she doesn’t remember what she was told the bill would do when she signed on. But Hobbs says she's already changed her mind.

"When I signed on to the bill, I didn’t realize the devastating consequences it would have,” Hobbs said. “So I’m not supportive of the bill at this time.”


The state House gave the bill preliminary approval March 2, but it has not been scheduled for a final vote.