Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs (D) fired off a scathing letter to President Joe Biden on Friday in which she demanded $512 million in reimbursements for money the state spent trying to control the US-Mexico border. Hobbs also asked Biden to immediately reassign the National Guard to the most vulnerable border regions in order to stem the flow of migrants into the United States.
"For far too long, Arizona has continued to bear the burden of federal inaction in managing our southern border," she wrote in the letter. "The recent decision to close the Lukeville Port of Entry has led to an unmitigated humanitarian crisis in the area and has put Arizona's safety and commerce at risk."
"Further, to the extent it is necessary, I am requesting that additional National Guard members currently on federal active duty orders be reassigned to Arizona to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection to reopen the Lukeville Port of Entry," the letter continues, requesting 243 National Guard soldiers already assigned to Tucson to the Lukeville Port of Entry.
Hobbs announced on Friday that she would be traveling to Lukeville to see the situation first hand.
The Lukeville Port of Entry was closed at the federal government's order on Monday and has forced all American and Mexican residents to drive several hours to the next closest port of entry in Nogales, Arizona, where travelers faces lines that are up to five hours long, according to Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ).
Illegal immigration through the Tucson region of Arizona began to rise six months ago and has ticked up in recent weeks from 12,000 arrests per week to 17,500 arrests in the week that ended on Nov. 30. Data for the past week will be released later Friday. -Washington Examiner
Rep. Ciscomani (R-AZ) fired off a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas late last week demanding that the national guard be deployed to support law enforcement efforts.
"[The] Tucson Sector is leading in encounters and our agents and officers are overrun and undermanned," he wrote, adding "The situation is far past a breaking point and those on the frontlines of this crisis are in need of immediate support."
In a joint statement with Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Hobbs denounced the Biden administration's decision to shutter the Lukeville Port of Entry.
"This is an unacceptable outcome that further destabilizes our border, risks the safety of our communities, and damages our economy by disrupting trade and tourism," reads the statement. "The Federal Government must act swiftly to maintain port of entry operations, get the border under control, keep Arizona communities safe, and ensure the humane treatment of migrants."