hobbs hathaway
Katie Hobbs Looks to Cancel Border Strike Force

November 18, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

On Wednesday, Governor-elect Katie Hobbs flipped on her campaign promise to continue providing support for the state’s Border Strike Force (BSF).

Hobbs told AZFamily that she was “taking a hard look” at whether the BSF should continue. Hobbs reportedly expressed doubt that it was an appropriate job for the Arizona Department of Public Safety. 

Hobbs’ latest remarks conflict with her campaign trail promise in June to continue the strike force. Hobbs claimed at the time that she valued the strike force in curtailing drug trafficking. 

“The governor created the Border Strike Force that really in reality is a drug interdiction unit, and so continuing to provide the support so that they’re able to carry out that job,” said Hobbs.

Hobbs also claimed she would continue to support National Guard presence along the border, so long as it was needed.

Governor Doug Ducey established the BSF in 2015. Since its inception, it has received more than $100 million in state funding. This past year, the state budget awarded $11.6 million to expand the BSF, as well as $50 million to improve patrolling, physical barriers, detention, and prosecution efforts.

Since 2018, the BSF seized over 190 million lethal doses of fentanyl, 400 pounds of heroin, $14 million in cash, 700 firearms, and 8,000 prescription pills.

In April, Ducey helped launch a 26-state expansion of his statewide strike force to combat the border crisis, called the American Governor’s Strike Force. Considering Hobbs’ perspective on the state’s BSF, it’s unlikely that this coalition will continue.

That’s not all the border policy that Hobbs has in mind.

Hobbs promised earlier this month that she would remove the shipping containers closing up the border wall gaps. She told reporters that they were an ineffective, “political stunt.” Hobbs said that the state needed to rely more on the federal government rather than taking initiative on its own. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

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