Katie Hobbs in touch with DHS but hasn’t talked with Alejandro Mayorkas in months

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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs in Nogales, Ariz. with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

By Cameron Arcand | The Center Square

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs recently communicated with leadership at the United States Department of Homeland Security, but conversations with Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas have been more scant.

The federal government, as well as Arizona officials, have been under scrutiny after U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the closure of the Lukeville, Arizona, port of entry, which is making access to and from Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, extremely difficult. 

Hobbs said she talked with Mayorkas last in September when they met in Washington D.C. 

“Oh goodness, I think when I was there in September, but then I’ve spoken with Assistant Secretary last week actually,” she told The Center Square on Tuesday afternoon during a press gaggle.

The governor’s office told The Center Square that the secretary was Acting Deputy Secretary at the DHS Kristie Canegallo

Republican lawmakers in Congress are pushing to impeach Mayorkas over the border crisis. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia tried to get a vote on the House floor last week for a resolution, but it was pulled to instead to conduct the process starting with the Homeland Security Committee, CBS News reported.

As for Hobbs, she said on Monday that there are no plans to deploy Arizona National Guard troops down to the border, bucking calls from lawmakers like state Sen. T.J Shope, R-Coolidge, to do so. She reiterated that sentiment on Tuesday, but clarified that the specific move is an option.

“We’re absolutely looking at that as an option, but it’s not something that would be helpful right now, and it’s not something that law enforcement are asking for,” she said.

“So we’re certainly in constant communication looking at what the needs are. Folks are being rerouted to other ports of entry […] I know that’s inconvenient for people. But there’s nothing that National Guard can do that would help with that. So we’re just continuing to let the feds know what we need and hopefully they’ll be responsive,” she continued.

The governor, as well as Sens. Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, released a statement together last week criticizing the federal government’s decision to close the port of entry. 

“The Federal Government must act swiftly to maintain port of entry operations, get the border under control, keep Arizona communities safe, and ensure the humane treatment of migrants,” they said.

Border security experts, along with Republican and Democratic politicians, have called on the federal government to take more stringent action in the Tucson Sector, which is currently facing the highest number of migrant encounters compared to other sectors in recent months. 

“Our border communities have already been pushed to the brink by the illegal flow of migrants and now legal trade, tourism, and commerce is being impacted by the closure of the Lukeville Port of Entry,” Border Security Alliance President Jobe Dickinson said in a statement. “President [Joe] Biden and Congress must act now. Continuing to ignore the border won’t make the crisis go away.”