FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2023
PHOENIX – This past week, Governor Hobbs announced steps she intends to take to put more resources at the southern border to help address the spike in migrant crossings impacting local communities. The Governor's plan includes redirecting nearly $23 million in previously appropriated monies from the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs to support local law enforcement, reduce street releases and coordinate emergency management – all needing Legislative review and approval at today's meeting of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee.
Inexplicably, Republicans refused to put the request on the agenda, delaying or denying the desperately needed aid to border communities and law enforcement contending with the ongoing federal closure of the Lukeville port of entry. Senate Democratic Leader Mitzi Epstein and House Democratic Leader Lupe Contreras said the decision smacks of politics and shows that Republicans are more intent on politicizing the border than addressing the issue.
"It's pretty clear that Republicans would rather perpetuate the crisis at the border for political purposes rather than take direct action or work together to address the problem," Contreras said. "We should be hearing the Governor's request today. But our colleagues across the aisle would rather point fingers and play politics."
Border Senator Brian Fernandez (LD23) added, “It is irresponsible and negligent to continue blocking these security efforts. Republicans know that the failure to redirect these monies will result in unmitigated street releases that our cities are not able to handle. Border communities deserve our investment, they are economic drivers in the state, and it is critical that their safety is taken seriously.”
"The Governor provided a solid plan and solution to assist with the humanitarian crisis at the southern border that forced the closure one port of entry, Lukeville," said Representative Mariana Sandoval (LD23), whose district includes the Lukeville port of entry. "Instead of working with the Governor to help address this humanitarian crisis, Republican leadership refused to put this item on an agenda to allow for the funding to execute the solution. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either you want to solve problem or continue complaining about them for political gain."