Arizona will begin using airplanes to move migrants from border communities to other cities around the country. According to a report in USA Today, the state signed a contract Jan. 14, and will use both buses and aircraft.
The practice of transporting migrants to other states began with former Gov. Doug Ducey, R, who sent buses to Washington D.C., at a cost of $82,000 per trip. The newly sworn in Gov. Katie Hobbs, D, is going to continue the practice but said her administration will do it in a more cost effective way. The cost for the planes has yet to be released.
Hobbs said under her leadership, migrants will get where they need to go to connect with sponsors.
“I think we need to look at that practice and make sure that it’s effective. It’s something that provides support to those local communities,” Gov. Hobbs said. “If we’re spending the money to bus people, why not just get them to their final destination?”
Gov. Hobbs will also have to finish taking down Ducey’s shipping container border wall. The former governor agreed to stop installing new containers and remove ones that were already there to avoid a restraining order or injunction in federal court. In exchange, the federal government agreed to install new fencing.
“We need to utilize state resources where they can be most effective and it’s really unfortunate that almost $200 million was spent on this shipping container publicity stunt,” Hobbs said. “We’re looking for ways to creatively repurpose the shipping containers that have been purchased by the taxpayers of Arizona and how we can work with local communities to address their needs.”
Construction on a new section of wall along the Colorado River began in early January, and it’s scheduled to be completed this summer.
A Yuma County official told Fox News in an interview that the surge is overwhelming local food banks and hospitals.
“Policies need to be changed when you see an unprecedented amount of people coming across the border that even supersedes what we saw under any of the other presidents for the past 30 years,” Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines told Fox.
Local farmers in the area said waves of migrants have ran through their fields, which can damage crops and impact their harvest. They said crops are monitored and audited for different pathogens, and groups of people running through can lead to contamination.