Tribal leaders seeking solutions to cartel crime, say they mostly got talk

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers wanted to talk about the problems of criminal cartels on Indigenous lands, but tribal leaders came to the House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing seeking solutions. Instead, they said, they left afraid it was just another "check-a-box-off" exercise.

Senators told of ‘alarming’ level of drone incursions at southern border

WASHINGTON - Cartels are sending as many as 1,000 unmanned drones across the border every month, sometimes smuggling drugs but more often probing the border for vulnerabilities, a Pentagon official told a Senate committee this month.

$1.2 trillion budget bill, racing against shutdown, funds more border security

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers on Friday advanced a $1.2 trillion package of budget bills that includes funding for 42,000 new beds in migrant detention facilities and for the hiring of an additional 22,000 Border Patrol agents.

As more families seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, groups step in to help as they wait

NOGALES, Sonora, Mexico – Due to a lack of resources at the Arizona-Mexico border, more families are stuck in limbo as they seek asylum.

A family of migrants, including, from left, Ruth Barrera, 32; Arlene Carmona, 7; Luis David Araujo, 7; and Marta Araujo, 2, eats fruit and does laundry on Feb.12, 2024, outside their temporary home in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, as they await their asylum court date in the U.S. (Photo by Kayla Jackson/Cronkite News)

Arizona GOP legislators pass immigration bills on border crossing and E-Verify

PHOENIX – Arizona lawmakers have advanced a package of immigration legislation that critics are calling “SB 1070 2.0” and gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would make illegal entry a state crime.

Arizona state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, reacts to Sen. Priya Sundareshan, D-Tucson, as she explains her vote on SB 1231 at the Arizona Capitol on Feb. 21, 2024. (Photo by Sam Ballesteros/Cronkite News)

Business owners challenge bill requiring E-Verify checks for jobs, benefits

PHOENIX - House Speaker Ben Toma says his latest immigration bill could save Arizona billions in welfare benefits annually, but small business owners rallied Monday to say it will cost the state instead, by driving out businesses and workers.

Senate votes to put the ‘illegal’ in illegal migration, make it a state crime

PHOENIX - The Senate voted Wednesday to make it a state crime to illegally enter Arizona by crossing the border between ports of entry - a proposal that Democratic opponents called both racially motivated and unconstitutional.

House panel advances GOP plan to check citizenship of welfare recipients

PHOENIX - A House committee, on a party-line vote, gave preliminary approval Monday to a ballot measure that would require cities, towns and agencies to check the citizenship status of anyone applying for public welfare benefits or a license of any kind.

January sees sharp drop in border numbers after record-setting December

WASHINGTON - Border encounters plunged from record highs of more than 300,000 in December to 176,205 in January, a 42% drop that border officials attributed to enforcement efforts and a traditional seasonal drop - but few were confident that numbers will stay at this level.

Border bill includes funds for local communities, along with Ukraine, Israel

WASHINGTON - The bipartisan immigration reform bill unveiled in the Senate late Sunday includes $1.4 billion to help border communities grappling with the migrant surge, in addition to funding for Ukraine and Israel. But it faces an uphill battle to approval in Congress.

Lawmakers approve $8 million to continue busing asylum seekers from border

PHOENIX - Legislators approved an additional $8 million for a Department of Emergency and Military Affairs program that buses migrants away from border communities. More than 81,000 people have been transported since the program launched in 2022.

Brnovich says states can take border action; Democrats pan ‘crackpot’ theory

WASHINGTON - Former Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich told a House panel that states have a constitutional right to secure their borders if the federal government - an argument that critics at the hearing derided as an unconstitutional "crackpot legal theory."