Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs Requests $512 Million from Biden Administration for Border Security

Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs is urging the federal government to provide over $512 million in compensation to the state, attributing the financial strain to President Joe Biden’s alleged failure to secure the southern border.

In a publicly released letter on December 8, the Democrat governor underscored Arizona’s significant expenditures on illegal immigration-related costs, citing issues such as transportation, drug interdiction, law enforcement, and other expenses resulting from perceived shortcomings in federal border management.

Hobbs pointed to the closure of the Lukeville Port of Entry on December 4, a consequence of reallocating agents to process a surge of asylum-seeking migrants, as a tangible example of the disruptions caused by the Biden administration’s border policies.

“For far too long, Arizona has continued to bear the burden of federal inaction in managing our southern border,” she wrote in the letter, which she released publicly on social media. “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.”

Furthermore, Hobbs emphasized the economic importance of these ports, underscoring the necessity for sufficient resources to support Arizona’s economic development.

“Our ports of entry are essential to our state and our country’s economy, and it is vital that they be properly staffed and resourced to continue to fuel economic growth in the state,” she added.

Inquiries directed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for comments went unanswered as of the report’s publication. CBP attributed the redeployment of staff from the port of entry to changing border conditions, citing heightened migrant encounters fueled by deceptive information disseminated by smugglers.

“In response to increased levels of migrant encounters at the Southwest Border, fueled by smugglers peddling disinformation to prey on vulnerable individuals, CBP is surging all available resources to expeditiously and safely process migrants,” the statement read. “CBP will continue to prioritize our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation.”

In the midst of her party’s leadership, Hobbs’s critical comments highlight a precarious moment for President Biden. While some view it as a political maneuver, former political consultant Sam Nunberg sees it as a strategic move to safeguard her position and support the Democratic nominee in the Senate race in a swing state.

Nunberg perceives this as an indication of Biden’s diminishing political influence, especially in a state like Arizona, where recent RealClearPolitics data shows his approval ratings at 44 percent. According to Nunberg, Arizona’s pivotal role in the election is prompting Democrats to distance themselves from unpopular stances.

“It is a sign of weakness. If Joe Biden was polling at 60 percent of the state, I’m sure she would not be doing it,” Mr. Nunberg said. “It’s a swing state, and she is trying to protect her flank, as well as help the Democratic nominee in the Senate race, which is coming.”

“However, at the end of the day, people need to know this is strictly for public consumption, and it telegraphs just how weak of a position President Biden finds himself in.”

The increase in unlawful border crossings, exemplified by CBP’s record-high encounters, indicates a mounting concern. This surge, along with challenges in border security and immigration, is anticipated to influence the political landscape. Democrats in states such as Arizona are increasingly inclined to distance themselves from Biden’s policies for political survival.

“It is only the beginning. You’ll be seeing more and more Democrats in purple and red states openly criticizing Joe Biden,” Mr. Nunberg said. “This isn’t about party loyalty—it is about political survival.”