Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs ran a campaign highlighting a great plan for increased border security. But Arizonans woke up to a head-scratcher this week as the Democrat leader announced she was defunding an elite border task force trained to ferret out and neutralize international crime organizations. So will Hobbs throw open the door and invite the drug cartels into the Grand Canyon state and beyond?
The Border Strike Force was created by former governor Doug Ducey in 2015 to “help secure Arizona’s border and thwart transnational criminal organizations.” But Hobbs believes she can redirect those earmarked dollars to better “coordinating” border patrol efforts. Perhaps the coffee break schedule is amiss, or there are enough agents on the 372.5-mile stretch of the country to protect.
But Hobbs believes that $139 million of appropriated funds on the task force is overkill and an unwise use of taxpayer dollars.
Hobbs Knows What Arizona Wants?
The governor made two trips south late last month to Yuma, Somerton, and San Luis, where she toured facilities and hot spots and met with Border Patrol Agents and local community leaders. Upon her return, she released this statement and had the hearts of the local electorate go pitter-pat with hopeful anticipation:
“My administration is listening not only to local law enforcement in impacted communities but community members, health care providers, and our farmers and agricultural industry. The conversations I’ve had have been eye-opening and informative, and I’m ready to take what I’ve heard and get to work on identifying real solutions, hold the federal government accountable, and create a safe Arizona for all residents.”
It turns out that was more of a boilerplate release and not much else. Hobbs spent her time in San Luis speaking with the Arizona Department of Transportation and the San Luis Commercial Port of Entry to see up close how the Port of Entry US Customs work together on trade issues. The town butts up against California and is the main crossing for daily agriculture workers farming in the fields across Yuma County. But it’s not the best location to hear about the 12,500 pounds of deadly fentanyl seized between Oct. 1, 2022, and Jan. 31, 2023.
Arizona Republicans warn of a complete societal breakdown if Hobbs can’t be reined in. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) nearly stated that Hobbs would have blood on her hands. “In the same manner that Joe Biden has destroyed our country with his welcomed support for the prolonged lawlessness and drug crisis along our southern border,” Gosar opined, “Katie Hobbs is destroying Arizona in three short months since taking office by her reckless dismantling of the Border Strike Task Force.”
“Countless more people will die,” he added.
Hobbs wants to reassign 58 task force officers and absorb most into other Arizona departments within her administration. And part of the redistribution of resources includes that $12.2 million budget, $11 million of which would go to local border communities. Those small towns and rural communities will surely need the resource boost once the Border Strike Force is neutralized.
It appears Arizona residents have a different idea of where that money should be allocated: on the border. Rasmussen and The Center Square released polls on the latest sentiment in Arizona. For illegal immigration, running the gamut from ag workers to drug cartels and human traffickers, the numbers aren’t good. The results speak volumes: 62% of Arizonans support building a border wall, and a majority, 56%, believed the term “invasion” summed up the crisis in a nutshell.
Hobbs in Lockstep With Biden
Hobbs claims the task force was simply set up for show by Ducey and that it’s more of a public relations stunt than a solution. But the website says something different: The Force “not only targets border crimes but provides a comprehensive collaborative approach to help secure Arizona’s border and thwart transnational criminal organizations.”
Under President Joe Biden’s so-called leadership, with a full-blown crisis on the US Southern border, 16 individuals on the terror watch list were contained attempting to cross. Thousands of pounds of fentanyl were seized. And nearly 5.5 million illegals have tried to enter the US. Yet, for all that Border Patrol arrested and returned, what slipped through the many landscape loopholes of the unsecured Arizona desert?
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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