Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs demands $512M reimbursement from Biden in scathing letter accusing him of failure to secure southern border
Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has accused President Joe Biden of failing to secure the southern border and is demanding a half-billion-dollar federal refund for the state's spending on the crisis.
In a letter dated Friday, which Hobbs released publicly, the governor requested more than $512 million in federal funds to reimburse the state's spending on migrant transportation, drug interdiction and law enforcement “due to the federal government's inability to secure our border.”
It comes after Customs and Border Protection encounters with migrants at the southern border reportedly reached a single-day high of 12,000 on Tuesday, including more than 10,200 detained while illegally entering the US from Mexico between ports of entry.
On Monday, CBP closed the Lukeville border crossing in Arizona indefinitely to remove agents from the crossing to help apprehend and process a flood of migrants crossing the border.
The desolate area around the remote border crossing has become a global migration route in recent months, with smugglers dropping off people from as far away as Senegal, India and China.
Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, has accused President Joe Biden of failing to secure the southern border and is demanding a half-billion-dollar federal refund.
Biden is under pressure from fellow Democrats in Arizona to address the border crisis there as overwhelmed officials closed legal border crossings to focus on processing asylum seekers
Most of them enter the U.S. through holes in the wall west of Lukeville and then turn east toward the official border crossing to surrender to the first agents they encounter to seek asylum, according to the release. the AP.
Hobbs denounced the closure of the Lukeville border crossing in her letter, saying it “has created a full-blown humanitarian crisis in the area and has jeopardized Arizona's security and commerce.”
“Our ports of entry are essential to our state and our nation's economy, and it is important that they have adequate staff and resources to continue to drive economic growth in the state,” she added.
Hobbs called for National Guard members currently on active federal duty to be mobilized to help CBP staff the Lukeville border crossing so it can be reopened.
The White House and CBP did not immediately respond to requests for comment from DailyMail.com on Saturday morning.
In a statement last week, CBP said it is “using all available resources to process migrants quickly and safely” and will “continue to prioritize our border security mission as needed in response to this evolving situation.”
The agency accused the hundreds of people who arrive around Lukeville every day as “smugglers spreading disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals.”
Along with Governor Hobbs, Arizona Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema have rejected the Lukeville closure and demanded better solutions from the Biden administration.
“This is an unacceptable outcome that further destabilizes our border, endangers the safety of our communities and harms our economy by disrupting trade and tourism,” they said in a joint statement.
Immigrants line up at a remote U.S. Border Patrol processing center after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Lukeville, Arizona, on Thursday. A wave of immigrants illegally passing through openings cut into the border wall by smugglers has overwhelmed U.S. immigration authorities, causing them to close several international ports of entry so agents can help process the new arrivals. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A wave of immigrants crossing illegally through gaps in the border wall has overwhelmed U.S. immigration authorities. Pictured: Migrants are processed near Lukeville on Friday
CBP closed the Lukeville, Arizona, border crossing indefinitely to recruit agents to deal with the flow of illegal border crossings. Above this, the crossing will remain closed on Friday
In a letter dated Friday, which Hobbs released publicly, the governor requested more than $512 million in federal funds to reimburse the state for spending on the border crisis.
“The federal government must act quickly to maintain operations at ports of entry, gain control of the border, keep Arizona communities safe and ensure the humane treatment of migrants.”
Kelly and Hobbs, both Democrats, and Sinema, an independent who was elected a Democrat, also criticized “partisan politicians who parrot talk while they watch the border continue to deteriorate.”
They said those politicians should instead “reject the echo chamber and work with us to get something done and keep our communities safe.”
An average of 3,140 people in vehicles and 184 pedestrians entered the U.S. in Lukeville in October, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Travelers can still enter or leave the United States through Nogales, Arizona, a three-hour drive east, or San Luis, Arizona, a two-hour drive west.
CBP has not yet commented on when the Lukeville crossing will reopen.