Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) announced this week that her state would be deploying military assets to the southern border to help stem the flow of migrants. The use of the Arizona National Guard follows similar efforts in Texas to halt the flow of hundreds of thousands of migrants into the country since the Biden administration announced the end to former President Donald Trump’s Title 42 asylum program.
Hobbs said Friday that the “federal government is refusing to do its job to secure our border and keep our communities safe.”
“I am taking action where the federal government won’t,” she said.
The move came after the governor requested that the Biden administration mobilize more than 200 Arizona National Guard soldiers in order to help reopen a border crossing that closed earlier this month. Customs and Border Protection closed the crossing to use officers to handle the hundreds of illegal crossings nearby each day.
I’m taking action to fix the migrant crisis where the federal government will not.
As the next step in Operation SECURE, I just signed an executive order to mobilize Arizona’s National Guard to our Southern Border effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/U7TbVxW9vJ
— Governor Katie Hobbs (@GovernorHobbs) December 15, 2023
The governor said that the state’s National Guard would be used along several border locations, including the area where the crossing closed.
The state said that the troops would be used to stop both illegal crossings and the flow of drugs into Arizona.
The Arizona National Guard has experience in this sort of work. In September, the Guard announced that it had ended a 30-month mission to aid law enforcement along the border. This included significant experience with logistical and medical issues.
The news also came as ten explosive devices were discovered near the Mexican border with Arizona.
Texas has launched a similar, and larger-scale effort, dubbed Operation Lone Star. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that elements of Texas state police, the state’s National Guard and other resources would be deployed to the border to try and stop migrants from entering the Lone Star State.
In addition, Texas is currently fighting a legal case about whether or not it can deploy barriers in the Rio Grande to stop migrants from crossing.
Texas and Florida have also been sending busloads of migrants to other locations, including self-declared sanctuary states and cities. Under Hobbs, Arizona has also sent migrants northward.
Some locations, such as New York City and Chicago, have struggled due to the increase of the migrant flow.