Governor Ducey Announced COVID Positive Hours Before Border Tour With Pence

Governor Ducey Announced COVID Positive Hours Before Border Tour With Pence

By Corinne Murdock |

Hours before a scheduled appearance on Monday with former Vice President Mike Pence, Governor Doug Ducey’s office announced that he’d tested positive for COVID-19. Ducey’s communications director, C.J. Karamargin, told KTAR News that the governor was asymptomatic and “feeling well.”

Originally, Ducey was to accompany Pence on a tour of the southern border, followed by attendance at a border security speech by the former vice president at the Arizona Commerce Authority in Phoenix.

During his speech, Pence argued that the Biden administration was exacerbating the border crisis. 

“[This border crisis] can be ended almost overnight, if President Biden will just put back the policies the Trump-Pence administration put into effect that reduced illegal immigration by 90 percent,” said Pence. 

Pence also lauded Ducey for his leadership and wished him a speedy recovery from COVID-19. In April, the governor coordinated with half of the country’s governors to launch a strike force modeled after his 2015 state-level initiative to address the border crisis.

“Let me say: how fortunate the people of Arizona are to have a leader so principled and devoted to securing the border and keeping our families and our neighborhoods safe,” said Pence.

Among those that met with Pence on Monday were Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels and his department, along with Arizona Department of Homeland Security Director Tim Roemer.

According to the latest Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data, there have been nearly 1.3 million border encounters since last October. 

The Biden administration’s attempt to rescind Title 42, policy under former President Donald Trump to expedite expulsion of illegal immigrants, failed last month. The program was slated to end on May 23, but a federal court in Louisiana issued a temporary restraining order preventing the Biden administration from ending the policy. 

Ducey contracted the virus despite being fully vaccinated and boosted; he has advertised the vaccine as “safe, effective, and free” repeatedly.

Ducey credited the senior advisor on the pandemic and lead for statewide vaccination efforts, Dr. Richard Carmona, for ensuring that the vaccine was the best tool to fight COVID-19. As AZ Free News reported, Carmona serves on the board of directors for a major distributor of the COVID-19 vaccine, McKesson.

From home, Ducey provided commentary on the former vice president’s visit.

Favorability polls conducted last week through YouGovPolitico, and Harris indicated that voters largely had an unfavorable view of the former vice president. The latest polling for 2024 presidential picks reflected that Pence falls behind Florida Governor Ron DeSantis with or without former President Donald Trump in the running.

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

Secretary of State, Gubernatorial Candidate Calls Focus On Border ‘Ridiculous’

Secretary of State, Gubernatorial Candidate Calls Focus On Border ‘Ridiculous’

By Corinne Murdock |

Secretary of State and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs declared it was “ridiculous” that the border crisis was a core issue for the governor’s race. Hobbs made the remarks during an interview with the Arizona Republic. 

Hobbs asserted that it wouldn’t matter how she talked about the border because Republicans would only twist her words. It is unclear whether her observation came from recent controversy over her apparent reversal on the Biden administration’s plan to rescind Title 42

“It’s ridiculous that we are talking about this as a core issue in the governor’s race,” said Hobbs. “I could stand here and say ‘Build the wall,’ and they’re gonna call me open borders. It doesn’t really matter what I say for the Republicans, they’re going to just misconstrue everything.” 

Hobbs’ latest statement appears to be a pivot from her remarks issued last October, when she insisted that alleviating border crisis pressures would be one of her primary focuses as governor. 

“The situation at our border puts pressure on all our communities. We have to reduce illegal border crossings in a way that promotes security and safety for everyone and most efficiently uses taxpayers’ dollars,” said Hobbs. “Arizonans need a leader who is learning from the officials who are on the front lines and understand this important issue best. I’m committed to listening, learning, and working on the ground to ensure our borders are secure.”

Hobbs also changed her perspective on the revocation of Title 42 recently. Within one month, Hobbs shifted her public message from supporting Title 42’s immediate end because it “isn’t working” to declaring that doing so would be a “rash decision” that would result in a “disaster.” 

Hobbs hasn’t been the only Democratic candidate for a state-level office to dismiss border concerns this week. Democratic congressional candidate and former state senator Kirsten Engel went one step further, arguing that the current state of the border doesn’t constitute a crisis. 

Engel issued that assessment during a Wednesday night debate hosted on “Arizona Horizon” by PBS. Engel’s Democratic opponent, State Representative Daniel Hernández Jr. (D-Tucson), contended with her denial of the border crisis. 

Hobbs and Engel represent a greater division within their party on the significance and reality of the border crisis. Hobbs’ opponents, Aaron Lieberman and Marco Lopez, have each offered their own takes. Lieberman has said he will defer to federal actors to work out the border crisis.

Lopez has insisted that rhetoric painting the border situation as dangerous was misleading. 

“There is no invasion,” said Lopez. 

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

The Border Invasion Is an Existential Crisis for America

The Border Invasion Is an Existential Crisis for America

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

The invasion crisis on our southern border is baffling. How could this outrage be happening?

The White House wants you to believe that they’re powerless to stop it. They’re willing to appear negligent and/or stupid to keep the wheels turning.

But there’s only one possible explanation that holds water: it’s a plan. And it’s working, as the border zone is flooded with millions of illegal immigrants, almost all of whom will stay permanently and lay the groundwork for an invincible voting bloc in the future.

If they sincerely wanted to do something about it, officials wouldn’t have to do any complicated thinking. Just stop egging on illegal immigrants to come and reinstate the Trump-era policies that were at least somewhat helpful.

You have to almost admire the masterminds of this catastrophe for persevering in the face of growing bipartisan revulsion at this inhumane tragedy. They are playing the long game—even at the price of taking short-term political hits.

In contrast to the helpless-to-resist image they’re trying to peddle, they’re contemplating the revocation of Title 42, a Trump era rule allowing migrant crossings to be turned away for public health reasons. Homeland Security projects ending Title 42 would result in an inconceivable 18,000 migrant crossings daily, up from our already unmanageable 7,000. At that rate, by the end of Biden’s term, one in five American residents would be here illegally.

Americans don’t need to be told the results of massive illegal immigration. We live it daily. Illegal immigrants by law have access to our emergency rooms. Over half of the newborns at LA County Hospital are newly minted American citizens born to illegal immigrant parents at taxpayer expense.

Illegal immigrants crowd our schools, forcing our already stressed educational system to divert focus to ESL instruction. Moreover, they undercut unskilled American workers and drive down their wages.

They also contribute to our burgeoning crime problem. The number of criminals who have evaded Border Patrol is obviously unknown, but over 40 migrants on the terror watchlist have been apprehended in addition to those who have slipped through. Enough fentanyl has been imported for every single American to have taken a fatal overdose.

But America’s greatest threat from massive illegal immigration isn’t the effect on our safety, our education, nor our healthcare. It’s not the welfare and correctional services illegal immigrants consume. The greatest danger is losing our nationhood.

America is uniquely a nation based not on geography nor blood but on its values and ideals. We have amply demonstrated our ability to absorb large numbers of immigrants who love America, who come because they want to be Americans and share our values and ideals, established in our Declaration and Constitution.

Illegal immigrants, by contrast, begin their relationship by defying a foundational principle that has made the U.S. a magnet for immigrants since its creation: the Rule of Law. This is the belief that we are ruled by laws, not men (people), and that each of us stand as a free and equal individual before the law.

Unfortunately, this tsunami of immigration from socialist autocracies where corruption is the norm is occurring at a time where in America is struggling with growing levels of tribalism. E pluribus unum is fading as many Americans now identify primarily as members of a political, racial, or other group that competes for favors from government.

Assimilation is now scorned as a micro-aggression. America is regarded by its own citizens as oppressive and bigoted.

Tens of millions of illegal immigrants who neither know nor care about America’s defining values don’t bode well for our future. In a decade or two, we’ll undoubtedly begin to hear about how they “deserve” citizenship, they’ve been here a long time, don’t have any other home, and so on. Our unity as Americans will become more fractured.

Americans are historically compassionate and resilient. But it is past time for Americans to reinforce the crucial distinction between illegal and legal immigrants.

It’s not racist or xenophobic to protect our borders from those who ignore our principles but want to enjoy the fruits of our success. It is crucial to the survival of America as we know it.

Tucson Mayor Pushes For More Lax Border Policy Shortly After Remains Recovered Of Texas Guardsman

Tucson Mayor Pushes For More Lax Border Policy Shortly After Remains Recovered Of Texas Guardsman

By Corinne Murdock |

Mere hours after the missing body of Texas Guardsman Bishop Evans was found along the Rio Grande River, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero expressed support of the Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42, a policy allowing expedited deportations. Romero hasn’t commented on Evans at all. 

Romero also lambasted Americans for not being benevolent enough to the relentless torrent of illegal immigrants. News of Romero’s press release was covered in the country’s largest independent political news site of 2020 and one of the largest this year, The Hill.

“Tucson stands ready to support those seeking asylum,” tweeted Romero. “America should take a lesson from our European allies who are taking in millions of Ukrainian refugees. Democracies don’t get to pick and choose when to support human rights.”

Evans, a field artilleryman and critical support for multiple Special Operations Forces missions overseas, died while attempting to rescue two illegal immigrants who were crossing the Rio Grande River around Eagle Pass, Texas. The Texas Rangers later revealed that the pair were drug traffickers. 

AZ Free News asked Romero for comment on Evans’ sacrifice. She didn’t respond.

Romero issued the statement alongside Brownsville, Texas Mayor Trey Mendez. 

The Biden administration pledged to end Title 42 on May 23, but reports retrieved from several attorney generals in court filings revealed that they were rescinding the policy immediately. On Monday, a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to keep Title 42 in place.

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

Arizona Wins Temporary Restraining Order Against Biden’s Relaxed Border Policy

Arizona Wins Temporary Restraining Order Against Biden’s Relaxed Border Policy

By Corinne Murdock |

On Monday, a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to continue executing Title 42, a Trump-era policy allowing for expedited deportations and asylum processing.

Louisiana Western District Court Judge Robert Summerhays, a Trump-appointed judge and native of Fort Worth, Texas, issued the temporary restraining order (TRO). According to the conference minutes, the attorney generals engaged in the case will negotiate with the Biden administration on how to continue implementation of Title 42. 

The TRO was the latest development in Brnovich’s lawsuit against the Biden administration for ending Title 42 at all, in what Brnovich characterized as “the worst border crisis in history.” Per monthly and annual reports from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Brnovich’s assessment appears accurate. 

Brnovich led two other states, Louisiana and Missouri, in filing the lawsuit.

In a press release, Brnovich thanked Summerhays for keeping Title 42 in place.

“The Biden administration cannot continue in flagrant disregard for existing laws and required administrative procedures,” remarked Brnovich.

In some reports, the case is filed as Arizona v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, et al., but federal court records list the case as Louisiana, et al. v. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The case number is 6:22-cv-00885. 

The Biden administration promised to end Title 42 come May 23. However, the attorney generals learned through court filings provided by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the policy was being terminated prematurely.  

The next hearing on that lawsuit is scheduled for May 13. 

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