Governor Hobbs Joins Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas For Third Visit to Arizona Border In First 100 Days of Her Administration

Government and Politics

March 23, 2023

From: Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs

Governor Hobbs met with the Arizona Border Counties Coalition, Border Patrol agents, community health center and shelter that houses migrants

PHOENIX— On Tuesday, Governor Hobbs and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas traveled to Arizona's southern border in Nogales to meet with border patrol agents, humanitarian aid organizations and to tour the Mariposa Port of Entry. This is the Governor’s third trip to the border in the first three months of her administration, highlighting how strongly she’s prioritizing our border.

Last week, the Governor’s office held listening sessions for border community advocates to learn more about the challenges, needs of communities, and how her office can best offer support on the heels of an impending influx of asylum-seeking migrants if Title 42 is suspended on May 11.

“My administration is proactively addressing the myriad of issues with our southern border, and want to hear from organizations on the ground regarding how the administration can better support efforts to coordinate and collaborate,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “My administration is listening not only to local law enforcement in impacted communities, but local elected officials, health care providers and humanitarian aid providers. The conversations today have been 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.”

"I think it's a powerful example of what we can do together, when we work together," Secretary Mayorkas said during a press conference at the end of the day. "There is strength in partnership; we can deliver results when we work together. Collaboration is the key to address very, very complex challenges."

See below for more details on the Governor’s trip:

Arizona Border Counties Coalition Meeting

The Arizona Border Counties Coalition works on economic development opportunities in southern Arizona with a specific focus on policies and issues that affect the quality of life and economy along the border. The Governor heard updates from:

    Pima County – Sup. Sharon Bronson, Jan Lesher, County Administrator

    Yuma County – Sup. Tony Reyes

    Cochise County – Sup. Ann English

    Santa Cruz County – Sup. Bruce Bracker

Visit to the Embrace Memorial

The Governor stopped by the Embrace memorial, a commemoration of the mass shooting that took place in Tucson, Arizona on January 8th, 2011 in which 19 people were shot, six of whom lost their lives. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was the target of the attack and sustained critical injuries.   The memorial opened in 2021 and is located in Presidio park on the grounds of the Historic Pima County Courthouse.

El Rio Community Health Center Meeting

El Rio Community Health Center is an influential medical service provider in the region. El Rio has a regional border health program and a relationship with Casa Alitas in which they provide health care and resources to migrants in transition. The purpose of the meeting is to have a greater understanding of the two programs as they relate to border health, as well as an introductory meeting with the new CEO, Clinton Kuntz who is relatively new to the organization

DPS Meet and Greet Event

The Governor stopped by a meet and greet for DPS employees and their families to get to know the troopers and police assistants.

Tucson Sector Border Patrol Briefing

This was an opportunity for the Governor to see how Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis are working together in Arizona to gather, analyze, and share relevant intelligence related to the Southwest border – which is an important component to border security.

Casa Alitas Tour and Roundtable on Transportation

Casa Alitas is part of the Catholic Community Services organization and is one of  the primary migrant receiving shelters in the city. They are part of a  coordinated network across the state and work closely with Regional Border Health, among others. This roundtable was an opportunity for the Governor to hear best practices learned and how other communities can have this kind of collaboration among DHS, state, and local governments.

Mariposa Port of Entry Tour

The Secretary and the Governor both share the common interest to address how drugs and fentanyl are coming through the ports of entry. This was an opportunity to learn about the detection technology and screening methods CBP is using at the border, and how DHS is making significant strides in combating drug trafficking into the U.S.