Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation cracking down on human smuggling organizations.
Ducey signed House Bill 2696 that makes "clear that an individual who aids illegal human smuggling organizations or operations will be held accountable for their crime." according to a press release from Ducey's office.
"We have seen a dramatic increase in human smuggling at the border since President Biden took office," Ducey said in the April 28 press release. "These criminals drive recklessly, which often ends in death and tragedy. We've all seen the news reports. I'm hopeful this new law will help to save lives and deter more migrants from making the dangerous journey to our border."
The bill passed through both chambers of the Arizona legislature with bipartisan support last week: 17-11 in the Senate and 37-20 in the House of Representatives. The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Leo Biasiucci, R-Lake Havasu City, was pleased to see Ducey sign the bill into law.
"With this bill, we're continuing to put the hammer down on child sex crimes and human smuggling," Biasiucci said, according to the press release. "Anyone who takes part in this crime should not be on the streets. We're sending the message that people who take part in human smuggling will go to jail for a very long time."
Senate President Karen Fann, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot and Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes attended the bill signing ceremony.
The bill signing came two days after Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers discovered 53 pounds of fentanyl during a routine traffic stop. In a stop the week before, they seized 70 pounds of methamphetamine.