In recent months, thousands of migrants have crossed from Mexico into Arizona, overwhelming U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and now, Arizona's governor is taking matter into her own hands.
Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs has signed an executive order to mobilize National Guard members in the Tucson sector to the Arizona border, posting on X, "I'm taking action to fix the migrant crisis where the federal government will not."
I’m taking action to fix the migrant crisis where the federal government will not.
As the next step in Operation SECURE, I just signed an executive order to mobilize Arizona’s National Guard to our Southern Border effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/U7TbVxW9vJ
— Governor Katie Hobbs (@GovernorHobbs) December 15, 2023
She released a statement targeting the Biden administration after she said a letter requesting desperately needed resources went unfulfilled. It read in part, "Yet again, the federal government is refusing to do its job to secure our border and keep our communities safe."
A chief patrol agent with the U.S. Border Patrol shared in a post on X indicating that migrant apprehensions in the Tucson sector from Nov. 3 through the end of the month reached a record 61,000 migrant encounters. So far in December, there have been 37,000 migrant encounters.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, earlier this month doubled down on previous comments calling the immigration system broken and underfunded for years. He also added that President Biden has addressed the issue with his request for supplemental funding and pushing for Congress to act.
"It is a humanitarian crisis for those migrants as well as disastrous for Arizona's border communities, particularly small communities in Lukeville," Arizona Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema said.
Arizona's National Guard will now be stationed at multiple locations along Arizona's border with Mexico, but additional manpower is needed to help reopen the Lukeville port of entry and help manage the flow of migrants into the state.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection shut down the port on Dec. 4, adding hours to cross-border commutes and impacting the local economy and across the border while officers at ports of entry are reassigned to help the CBP.
On Monday, CBP suspended operations at the international railway crossing bridges in Eagle Pass and El Paso, Texas, while closures continue in Eagle Pass at International Bridge One and at a pedestrian bridge in San Diego, California.
CBP says they're also now imposing consequences on transportation companies used by smuggling networks preying on vulnerable migrants.
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