Democratic Arizona governor to keep migrant busing program

By Greg Hahne
Associated Press
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2023 - 3:29pm
Updated: Friday, January 27, 2023 - 7:54am

Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs will keep transporting migrants out of the state under a program started by her Republican predecessor Doug Ducey.

Though Hobbs’ press secretary Josselyn Berry said a key interest is safely and humanely transporting asylum seekers to their sponsors. 

That means providing services like food and medical support. The contract with the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs was renewed to include air travel as a means as well.

Berry says other locations than Washington, D.C., such as New Jersey and Florida are being included. 

During Ducey's tenure, more than 3,000 people were bused from the Yuma, Arizona, area to the nation's capital at an overall cost of more than $7 million.

Republican lawmakers earmarked $15 million for the program last year.

Hobbs said her focus differs from that of Republican governors Greg Abbott, of Texas, and Ron DeSantis, of Florida, who have transported migrants to Democratic-run cities to make a political point.

“We’re interested in focusing on the humanitarian aspects of this and just putting people on a bus as a political stunt and sending them to Martha’s Vineyard or wherever they went is not providing any help or any solution to the actual issue," the Arizona Republic quoted Hobbs as saying.

It is not clear if the program is planned to be renewed when funding is depleted.

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