Arizona Gov. Hobbs says holistic approach needed for border, invites Mayorkas to visit
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs gave her State of the State address Monday afternoon and said building an Arizona for everyone extends to the border.
The newly elected governor criticized the federal government for “decades of failure” addressing the southern border and how much pressure gets put on Arizona communities. She said the issue has been too politicized.
Hobbs called for a multi-faceted approach to immigration reform that includes collaboration with local organizations.
“Speak to leaders in border communities and across our state and it’s clear they need real solutions after decades of failed leadership by both parties,” Hobbs said. “We must take a holistic, realistic and humane approach to help solve this issue. That means supporting sheriffs and local law enforcement in impacted communities – and it also means supporting community centers and hospitals.”
Hobbs commended President Joe Biden for visiting the border in El Paso, Texas, on Sunday but said she will push Congress to pass comprehensive immigration legislation.
She also invited Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to visit the border with her and meet with law enforcement, community leaders and business executives in border towns to get a feel for what Arizonans are facing.
Hobbs plans on providing more funding for sheriffs and local law enforcement as well as community centers and hospitals in areas such as Yuma, Nogales and Douglas.
“I look forward to working with local law enforcement, nonprofits and community leaders throughout my time in this office to identify real solutions, hold the federal government accountable and create a safe Arizona for all its residents,” Hobbs said.
She also called on lawmakers to provide college scholarships to young people who were brought to the country illegally as minors, along with others who can’t afford college.
The numbers of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has risen dramatically during Biden’s first two years in office. There were more than 2.38 million stops during the year that ended Sept. 30, the first time the number topped 2 million.
Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador and Biden met on Monday at a summit of North American leaders.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.