Operation SECURE will create a new Border Security Office within the Department of Homeland Security. The office, funded for the year with $2 million from ARPA, will serve as a hub of coordination for border security operations to ensure local, state, and federal assets are being properly leveraged to keep Arizonans safe and maintain a secure, humane, and orderly border. In addition, unless the Biden Administration promptly reopens the port of entry, the operation will mobilize up to $5 million for the National Guard to augment and support the Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies along the southern border, including fentanyl interdiction efforts.
The Governor has written a letter to President Biden urging that the 243 National Guard members already in the Tucson Sector be put to use to support reopening the Lukeville Point of Entry.
Additionally, the Governor billed the federal government for $512,529,333 in reimbursements for ongoing border operations resulting from the federal government’s failure to secure the Arizona border. Moving forward, the state will regularly seek reimbursement from the federal government.
“The decision to close the Lukeville Port of Entry has led to an unmitigated crisis in the area and put Arizona’s safety and commerce at risk,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “Our ports of entry are vital for security and trade, and insufficient resources hinder our ability to properly manage the influx of migrants who have continued to come to Lukeville. With the launch of Operation SECURE, the State of Arizona is doing everything we can to secure the border, but we are at a breaking point. We need the federal government to step up, do its job, and bring security and order to our border.”
Press release from Governor Katie Hobbs-Molly K Ottman Executive Editor/Journalist for Mountain Daily Star