Gov. Katie Hobbs is mobilizing the state’s National Guard to Arizona’s border with Mexico to help with the ongoing migrant crisis, as she accuses the federal government of “refusing” to do its job to secure the border.
Hobbs signed an executive order to mobilize the Guard, which she said will assist law enforcement with fentanyl interdiction, analytical support and human trafficking enforcement efforts.
Arizona’s Tucson Sector has been particularly hard hit by a new wave of migrants coming over the border. Earlier this month, the sector set a new record for weekly encounters when officials encountered over 17,500 migrants.
Federal officials closed the border crossing in Lukeville to reassign resources to deal with the surge, which comes in the third year of the ongoing migrant crisis.
“Yet again, the federal government is refusing to do its job to secure our border and keep our communities safe,” Hobbs said in a statement. “With this Executive Order, I am taking action where the federal government won’t. But we can’t stand alone, Arizona needs resources and manpower to reopen the Lukeville crossing, manage the flow of migrants, and maintain a secure, orderly and humane border.”
“Despite continued requests for assistance, the Biden administration has refused to deliver desperately needed resources to Arizona’s border,” she said.
The Biden administration has taken heat over the crisis from Republicans and Democrats, including from state and local officials who say it has not provided enough resources.
The administration has said that it is dealing with a hemisphere-wide crisis and has appealed to Congress for more funding and comprehensive immigration reform to fix what it says is a “broken” system.
It has recently requested an additional $14 billion in emergency supplemental funding from Congress, which includes $1.4 billion for “shelter and services” for migrants released from DHS custody. This is in addition to $800 million that has been handed out to states and non-governmental organizations by the administration in order to help deal with the many migrants who have been released into the U.S. interior.
But that funding request has been held up in Congress as Republicans have demanded greater restrictions on asylum and humanitarian parole, a call that some Democrats have rebuffed.
Talks have been ongoing among Senate Democrats and Republicans and the Biden administration to try and resolve the gridlock, and Biden has said he is open to “significant compromises.”
The White House has reportedly expressed openness to restrictions, including a Title 42-style removal authority and expanded detention, but it is unclear whether that would be backed by Democrats or would be enough for Republicans — including those in the House — to get their support.
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