Gov. Katie Hobbs will continue to bus border-crossers to other states

In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the United States, sit in one of the cages at a facility in McAllen, Texas, on June 17, 2018. As thousands of children were taken from their parents at the southern border amid a crackdown on illegal crossings by the Trump administration, a federal public defender in San Diego set out to find new strategies to go after the longstanding deportation law fueling the family separations. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP, File)

Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs will continue to transport migrants out of state, but her office plans to take a slightly different approach than the Ducey administration.

“It’s something that provides support to those local communities,” Hobbs said at a news conference on Friday.

However, the governor said that her approach would focus less on sending migrants to locations like Washington D.C., as charter flights to other locations will now also be a part of the operation, the Arizona Republic reported.

“If we’re spending money to bus people, why not just get them to their final destination?” Hobbs added.

Republican governors such as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have transported migrants to politically liberal areas like Washington and New York City to take the burden off of local authorities and raise national awareness of the border crisis. 

Abbott’s office said in a news release on January 13 that nearly 17,000 migrants have been sent to Democrat-ran cities as part of Operation Lone Star, including 9,100 of those to Washington.

Hobbs, in her budget pitch to lawmakers, proposed defunding Arizona’s involvement in the multi-state agreement.

Under the Ducey administration, busing began in May 2022 and was offered to migrants who wanted the ride without cost to them, according to The Republic.

The heavy flow of migrants at the southern border has been ongoing for nearly two years. As of the fiscal year 2023, there were 80,486 encounters in the Yuma sector, and 68,392 encounters in the Tucson sector, according to United States Customs and Border Protection data.

Republished with the permission of The Center Square.