Border Crisis: Arizona Governor launching new border security operation

As a surge in migrants continues to affect the U.S.-Mexico border, Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs announced the launch of a new campaign to "mobilize additional state resources to bring order and security to the border."

In a statement released on Dec. 8, Gov. Hobbs announced the creation of a new Border Security Office as part of Operation SECURE (Safety, Enforcement, Coordination & Uniform ResponsE).

"The office, funded for the year with $2 million from ARPA, will serve as a hub of coordination for border security operations to ensure local, state, and federal assets are being properly leveraged to keep Arizonans safe and maintain a secure, humane, and orderly border," read a portion of the statement.

In addition, Gov. Hobbs announced the operation will mobilize up to $5 million for the National Guard to "augment and support the Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies along the southern border, including fentanyl interdiction efforts," unless President Biden's administration promptly reopens a port of entry that was closed due to a recent migrant surge.

"The Governor has written a letter to President Biden urging that the 243 National Guard members already in the Tucson Sector be put to use to support reopening the Lukeville Point of Entry," read a portion of the statement. 

"We're certainly talking to the federal government about perhaps sending them under federal orders which gives them more broader authority to act and provide support to the Border Patrol," said Hobbs.

In the letter to Biden, Hobbs also states, "The recent decision to close the Lukeville Port of Entry has led to an unmitigated humanitarian crisis in the area and has put Arizona's safety and commerce at risk."

Details on Hobbs' trip to the border have not yet been released. 

Currently, there are more than 2,500 National Guard members on federal active duty along the southern border. About 240 of them are stationed in the Tucson sector.

Hobbs is also asking the federal government to reimburse the state $512 million for money spent on border security.

"Additionally, the Governor billed the federal government for $512,529,333 in reimbursements for ongoing border operations resulting from the federal government’s failure to secure the Arizona border. Moving forward, the state will regularly seek reimbursement from the federal government."