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Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs says she’ll continue transporting migrants out of state

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs. (Ross D. Franklin/G3 Box News)

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs says she’ll continue transporting migrants out of state

Cami Mondeaux

January 21, 03:17 PM January 21, 03:17 PM

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Arizona will continue its practice of transporting migrants who cross the southern border to other destinations in the United States, Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Friday.

Hobbs announced the state would continue transporting migrants to other U.S. cities via bus and plane, continuing a controversial practice implemented by her Republican predecessor Gov. Doug Ducey last year. However, Hobbs noted that this time her administration would focus specifically on transporting migrants to their desired destinations.

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“It’s something that provides support to those local communities,” Hobbs said during a press conference on Friday, referring to border towns that have received an influx of migrants in recent months. “If we’re spending money to bus people, why not just get them to their final destination?”

Ducey began transporting migrants to northern cities such as Washington, D.C., last year in an effort to pressure President Joe Biden to address the border crisis. The White House has repeatedly denounced the practice, which has been used by other southern states, such as Texas, as being politically motivated.

The cost to transport migrants during the Ducey administration was about $82,000 per bus trip, and the former governor emphasized that only those who volunteered to go were taken.

However, spokespeople for Hobbs said their new strategy would differ from Ducey’s, noting migrants would no longer be dropped off at major Democratic cities and expected to find their own way to their final destination.

“We’re sending migrants to cities they actually need to go to and be connected with their sponsors, and we are doing it in a more cost effective way by looking at all travel options, not just buses,” Hobbs’s press secretary Josselyn Berry said in a statement.

G3 Box News

It’s not entirely clear how much the new effort will cost, but state officials estimate the busing program may be up to $1 million a month. Arizona allocated roughly $15 million in its yearly budget to pay for the migrant transportation.

The Washington Examiner contacted Hobbs’s office for comment but has not received a response.

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