Democrat Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs recently told reporters she would continue the program begun under former Republican Doug Ducey to bus migrants out of state – but more efficiently and humanely.
This week, Hobbs defended her decision to keep the program in place. She told The Arizona Sun that her new administration would focus on making sure the state’s continued payment of travel costs for migrants into “efficient and humane.”
“We just wanted to make sure that we were addressing this issue and, as I talked about many times in the campaign, in a way that was the best use of taxpayer resources and something that wasn’t a political stunt,” said Hobbs to the publication.
Then Governor Ducey started busing migrants out of the state in May. The program was then widened to include the option of chartered air travel onboard a 737 aircraft, according to a contract with the state signed on January 14. During former Gov. Ducey’s tenure, more than 3,000 migrants were bused from the Yuma region to Washington, D.C., at the cost of more than $7 million.
GOP lawmakers appropriated $15 million for the program last year. The U.S. border has seen a historic crisis under the tenure of President Joe Biden, with illegal crossing records broken month after month.
Gov. Hobbs assumed office earlier this month and told reporters: “We need to look at that practice and make sure it’s effective, [that] it’s something that supports local communities.”
“If we’re spending the money to bus people, why not just get them to their final destination?” said Hobbs.
Hobbs said focus will be different than GOP
The Arizona governor told The Arizona Republic that her focus would be different than GOP governors Ron DeSantis of Florida, and Greg Abbott, of Texas, who have both moved migrants to Democrat-run cities as an admonishment of the Biden administration’s handling of the crisis at the southern U.S. border.
“We’re interested in focusing on the humanitarian aspects of this, and just putting people on a bus as a political stunt and sending them to Martha’s Vineyard or wherever they went is not providing any help or solution to the actual issue,” said Hobbs.
Washington D.C.’s Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser recently declared a public emergency related to the migrant bussing to the nation’s capital last year.
Democrat New York Mayor Eric Adams recently visited the southern border at El Paso, Texas, and has also declared there is no further room for illegal migrants in the city. Mayor Adams called on the federal government to solve the growing crisis.