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Arizona to launch new office to help secure border

The new border security office will mobilize additional state resources and serve as a coordination hub for border security operations.
Arizona to launch new office to help secure border
Posted at 4:58 PM, Dec 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-11 19:00:05-05

In response to thousands of migrants crossing into Lukeville, Arizona in recent months Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs is launching Operation SECURE to help bring order and secure the border. Gov. Hobbs visited the Lukeville Port of Entry on Saturday and posted photos on "X," formerly known as Twitter, showing her meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the closed port of entry. 

Operation SECURE stands for safety, enforcement, coordination and uniform response. The new border security office will mobilize additional state resources and serve as a coordination hub for border security operations. The goal of the office is to ensure local, state and federal assets are being properly leveraged to maintain a humane and orderly border, according to a press release posted by Hobbs' office. The office will be funded with $2 million from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

Hobbs posted a video on "X" in which she said that she's working to get CBP the resources necessary to reopen the Lukeville Port of Entry. The port of entry was closed last Monday. 

"As long as I'm governor, I'll do whatever I can to end the chaos at the border," Hobbs said in her video. "I'm not afraid to stand up to politicians on either side who aren't doing what's in the best interest of Arizona." 

Hobbs also announced she sent a letter to President Joe Biden. The letter read in part: "The recent decision to close the Lukeville Port of Entry has led to an unmitigated humanitarian crisis in the area and put Arizona's safety and commerce at risk," Hobbs wrote. 

In the letter Hobbs expressed the importance ports of entry play in the Arizona economy and called on the Biden administration to mobilize 243 National Guard members already in the Tucson sector to help reopen the Lukeville Port of Entry. Hobbs also requested a reimbursement of more than $512 million spent by the state on border operations including transporting migrants, drug interdiction, and law enforcement. 

Last week, hundreds of migrants from Central America, South America, and as far away as Africa made a line and waited to turn themselves in to border patrol agents to be processed. 

Some migrants from Ecuador said they were fleeing violence and gang threats in their home country. Other migrants said they were seeking better jobs and opportunities given the economic hardships back home. 

In recent weeks, border patrol has been overwhelmed by the surge in migrant crossings, and CBP has redirected officers at ports of entry in Arizona, California, and Texas to assist border patrol agents. 

Over the weekend CBP closed a pedestrian bridge in San Ysidro, California to surge resources at the border, and earlier on Nov. 27, CBP suspended vehicle processing operations at Eagle Pass International Bridge 1.

SEE MORE: Is border security really on the cusp of passing in Congress?


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