In Arizona, Blake Masters and Kari Lake Embrace Bad Border Policies
Last week, Rep. Paul Gosar (R–Ariz.), who’s running unopposed for reelection in Arizona’s 9th congressional district, was caught in a covertly recorded video seemingly expressing sympathy to people who claimed they’d been shooting at undocumented immigrants.
“We’ve shot at them,” the man, an undercover activist, told Gosar. “I’m worried that the Democrats are gonna send me to jail.” Gosar replied, “They have more rights than we do.”
“I might’ve hit someone,” the man said before thanking Gosar for his work. “Say a prayer because this country needs you,” the congressman replied. “There’s a bunch of people that are ready to go into action.”
Gosar, who’s previously proposed a 10-year moratorium on all immigration, is part of an Arizona GOP that’s taken an increasingly militant turn on migrants and the border.
With Election Day less than one week away, the results of Arizona’s midterm races could shake up both national politics and recent statewide trends. Immigration has emerged as a central plank for high-profile Republican candidates, including Senate candidate Blake Masters and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who routinely lean into their party’s worst impulses. Their platforms include policies that are legally fraught and unlikely to solve persistent problems at the border.
Both Masters and Lake say they will finish the construction of former President Donald Trump’s border wall, which currently covers about 245 miles of Arizona’s 373-mile border with Mexico. Trump’s project cost roughly $20 million per mile to construct, dwarfing the cost of reinforcements installed under the Bush and Obama administrations. Despite that expense, the wall hasn’t thwarted illegal migration. Immigrants have been able to climb over it with ladders, cut through it with cheap tools, and tunnel under it. With fewer legal migration pathways and a far more fortified border, the number of migrants injured or killed as they fell from the wall spiked.
Renewed border wall construction could end up hurting Arizona communities, including private landowners robbed of their land by eminent domain and Native Americans who’ve had their sovereignty violated despite explicit opposition. Lake says she’ll veto “any budget that fails to fully fund the border wall’s completion,” despite the economic and political costs she might incur.
Lake and Masters see illegal immigration as an “invasion” to be combated. “It’s time to militarize this border,” Masters said in a campaign ad. Lake’s first “solution” to secure the border involves invoking Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution “to fend off the invasion at our southern border in the absence of federal protection.” She claims this will allow Arizona—and “a compact of like-minded states”—to “arrest illegal immigrants” and “return them back across the border.”
As David Bier, as
Article from Reason.com