katie hobbs
Gov. Hobbs Won’t Deploy National Guard To Border Over Lukeville Crisis

December 6, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

Gov. Katie Hobbs isn’t planning on deploying the National Guard to the border anytime soon; she said that security is ultimately the federal government’s job.  

Hobbs told The Center Square that since the border town of Lukeville hasn’t explicitly requested that assistance, she wouldn’t be giving it. Hobbs said that the Biden administration needed to be doing more to mitigate the border crisis. 

“It’s not something that they’re asking for right now,” said Hobbs. “We need the federal government to step up and do its job and secure our border.”

On Monday, the illegal immigration surge prompted the Biden administration to announce closure of the Lukeville port of entry for legal travel. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a statement last Friday calling the ever-worsening border crisis an “evolving situation” that required taking personnel from the legal port of entry. 

“In response to increased levels of migrant encounters at the Southwest Border, fueled by smugglers peddling disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals, CBP is surging all available resources to expeditiously and safely process migrants,” said CBP. 

Travelers were directed to cross the border through either the Nogales Port of Entry or the San Luis Port of Entry. 

In response, Hobbs issued a joint statement with Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema complaining about the Biden administration’s handling of the border crisis. The trio passed some of the blame across the aisle, implying that their Republican colleagues weren’t working with them well enough to “get something done” about the border. 

“Partisan politicians who parrot talking points while watching the border further deteriorate must reject the echo chamber and work with us to get something done and keep our communities safe,” said the trio.

At any given time of day, hundreds of illegal immigrants — even up to around 1,000 — remain lined up along the U.S. side of the border, waiting for their processing and transportation to Lukeville or elsewhere. 

The area has been admitting tens of thousands of illegal immigrants weekly as of late. 

Hobbs wasn’t the only one as of late spurning state-led initiatives to mitigate the border crisis. Democratic lawmakers condemned a Texas bill authorizing state and local law enforcement to apprehend and arrest illegal immigrants. The legislators claimed that the Texas bill would result in racial profiling and familial breakups. 

“This bill will undoubtably [sic] lead to widespread racial profiling and a circumvention of protections asylum seekers have under constitutional law and international obligations,” stated the lawmakers. 

The Democratic lawmakers hosted a pro-illegal immigration activist effort, Todos Somos Texas (We Are All Texas), speaking in Spanish as well as English to make their case against border security. Todos Somos Texas is a coalition of multiple progressive groups including La Voz Demócrata de San Diego and Latinos Associated Together Informing Networking and Outreaching.

The controversial bill would restrict arrests from taking place at churches, medical facilities, and schools, but not college or university campuses. 

A similar bill from Arizona was already rejected by the Supreme Court in 2012. Arizona v. U.S. determined that local law enforcement couldn’t arrest based on immigration status. Texas lawmakers backing the new law point out that, unlike the overturned Arizona law, the statute of limitations on misdemeanor crimes limits law enforcement to arresting those illegal immigrants who crossed recently — not those who have resided in the state for a long period of time. 

Texas’ novel law may affect illegal immigrants from qualifying for an asylum claim, since criminal history serves as a disqualifier. 

Texas’ bill would take effect in March 2024, upon signing by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to CBP as Customs and Border Patrol. The story has been corrected and now refers to CBP as Customs and Border Protection.

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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