'Pro-life' GOP passes bill allowing Arizona ranchers to kill trespassing border crossers


I realize it is all the rage these days to demonize the migrants who are streaming into our country through that sieve we call a border wall.

Joe Biden’s bungle on the border is a dream come true for the Republican Party.

Now the Arizona Legislature has come up with a creative new plan to battle back against those who cross into the country illegally:

Kill them.

My God.

You could shoot someone on your land

House Bill 2842 potentially would allow Arizonans to kill anybody who is trespassing on their land.

The bill proposes a dramatic expansion of the state’s “Castle Doctrine” law, which allows you to use deadly force against someone who is breaking into your home.

HB 2842 would expand the permissible killing zone to anyone who sets foot on your land. All you’d have to do is say you were protecting yourself or someone else.

Rep. Justin Heap, R-Mesa and a candidate for Maricopa County recorder, recently told his colleagues his bill is aimed at protecting ranchers and farmers from migrants who cross their land as they move north.

Heap says a “loophole” in the law allows a property owner to use deadly force against someone in his house but that protection doesn’t extend to his land.

“If a farmer owns 10,000 acres of farmland, his home may be a half a mile away from where he is, and if he sees someone on his land, can he approach them and trespass them from his property?” Heap recently told the House Judiciary Committee.

“So, this is an amendment to essentially fix that loophole because we have several cases and, unfortunately, an increasing number of cases, as we are seeing an increasingly larger number of migrants or human traffickers moving across farm and ranchland.”

Is that cover for George Alan Kelly?

George Alan Kelly enters Courtroom Three for his preliminary hearing on Feb. 22, 2023, in Nogales.George Alan Kelly enters Courtroom Three for his preliminary hearing on Feb. 22, 2023, in Nogales.

George Alan Kelly enters Courtroom Three for his preliminary hearing on Feb. 22, 2023, in Nogales.

I suppose we could call it George’s Bill, after George Alan Kelly.

The 73-year-old Nogales-area rancher is scheduled to stand trial next month for second-degree murder and aggravated assault. He is accused of shooting and killing a migrant who was crossing his 170-acre spread in January 2023.

Kelly has said he fired warning shots over the heads of a group of armed men who were crossing his land after one person in the group pointed an assault rifle at him.

Gabriel Cuen-Buitimea, 48, a Mexican citizen, was found unarmed and fatally shot in the back — about a football field away from where Kelly stood as he fired his assault rifle.

Kelly murder trial: Must answer these 5 questions

Prosecutors have said Cuen-Buitimea crossed the border in search of work and was running away when he was killed.

Heap’s bill potentially would give a rancher like Kelly a legal license to kill migrants.

Which, apparently, is the point.

Luckily, this bill won’t survive Hobbs’ veto

“This is a great Second Amendment bill that is also protecting the rights of the accused,” Rep. Alexander Kolodin, R-Scottsdale, gushed, in voting for the bill.

A “great” bill, because it makes the crime of trespassing punishable by death?

Naturally, the House approved the bill on a party line 31-28 vote.

Speaking of death, that’ll surely be the bill’s fate when it reaches Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs.

It’s one thing, after all, to make life as miserable as possible for those who seek to illegally enter the country.

But offering up legal cover to kill them?

Again. My God.

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter, at @LaurieRoberts or on Threads at laurierobertsaz.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona bill would allow ranchers to kill trespassing border crossers





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