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Arizona Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs defends decision to keep bus migrants out of state

Democratic governor of arizona Katie Hobbs told reporters last week that she would continue the program under her Republican predecessor Doug Ducey to evacuate migrants from the state by bus, but in a more humane and efficient way.

On Tuesday, Hobbs defended his decision to keep the program in place, telling The Arizona Sun that his administration would focus on ensuring that the state’s continued payment of migrant travel costs is “efficient and humane”.

Katie Hobbs, then the Democratic gubernatorial candidate of Arizona, hosts a campaign event at the local 1912 Carpenters Union headquarters in Phoenix on November 5, 2022.
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“We just wanted to make sure that we approached this issue and, as I said many times during the campaign, in a way that was the best use of taxpayers’ resources and something that was not a political stunt,” Hobbs told the newspaper.

Then-Governor. Ducey started transport of migrants by bus out of Arizona in May. The program was later expanded to include the option of charter air travel aboard a 737, according to a state contract signed Jan. 14.

During Ducey’s tenure, more than 3,000 people were bused from the Yuma region to the nation’s capital at an overall cost of over $7 million. Republican lawmakers earmarked $15 million for the program last year. The border has experienced a historic crisis under President Biden, with records broken for illegal crossings month after month.

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Hobbs, who took office earlier this month, told reporters last week: “We need to look at this practice and make sure it is effective, [that] it’s something that supports local communities.”

“If we spend money to transport people by bus, why not just take them to their final destination? ” she says.

Shipping containers and vehicle barriers line the United States-Mexico border at the Coronado National Memorial in Cochise County, Arizona on December 11, 2022.

Shipping containers and vehicle barriers line the United States-Mexico border at the Coronado National Memorial in Cochise County, Arizona on December 11, 2022.
(Rebecca Noble/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Hobbs told The Arizona Republic his focus would be different from the actions of Republican governors Greg Abbottof Texas, and Ron DeSantis of Florida, who both ferried migrants to Democratic-run cities to rebuke the Biden administration’s handling of the southern border.

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“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’ve been doesn’t help or solve the problem. real problem,” Hobbs said. .

Last year, Democratic Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency related to the busing of migrants to the nation’s capital. New York Mayor Eric Adams, also a Democrat, recently drove to the border in El Paso, Texas, and said there was no more room for illegal migrants in his city. Adams called on the federal government to resolve the crisis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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