A significant increase in the flow of migrants led to the effective closure of the most active crossing with Mexico.
“Once again, the federal government is refusing to do its job to secure our borders and keep our communities safe,” Katie Hobbs said Friday, after signing an executive order aimed at restarting crossings.
“Under this executive order, I am taking action where the central government has failed,” he added. “Arizona needs the resources and manpower to reopen the Lukeville crossing and manage the flow of migrants.”
“Despite repeated calls for help, the Biden administration has refused to protect much-needed resources along the Arizona border,” the governor continued.
The economies of many area communities depend on legal immigrants using the Lukeville crossing, and its closure has affected families living on both sides of the border.
Immigration is a key issue in the upcoming elections, and the Republican Party is aiming to capture swing states like Arizona, which puts Hobbs in an awkward position.
Last week, Hobbs wrote to the White House requesting $500 million in funding and sending the National Guard to reopen the Lukeville crossing.
But by signing the executive order, Hobbs acknowledges that the Biden administration has not responded.
This year through the end of September 2023, the Border Patrol has recorded 2.4 million encounters with migrants at the official Lukeville and San Miguel crossings and other points along the southern border.
Immigration, legal or otherwise, is expected to play a major role in next year’s presidential election, in which Biden (age 81) looks set to face Republican nominee former President Donald Trump (age 77).
Trump pledged to use the military to fully close the border in a speech consistent with his right-wing platform, but as for Biden, he is trying to balance demands for tighter controls with calls from his party’s progressives for a more humane immigration system.
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