PHOENIX, Ariz. (HPD) — Arizona Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs has defended her decision to continue her Republican predecessor’s program to transport migrants away from border communities.
Hobbs said he will focus on ensuring continued payment of migrant travel costs is “efficient and humane,” according to an interview with The Arizona Republic published Wednesday.
“We just wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this issue and, as I’ve mentioned many times on the campaign trail, in a way that’s more efficient with taxpayer resources and something that’s not a political stunt,” Hobbs told the newspaper Tuesday.
The program began in May during the administration of then-Governor Doug Ducey and the use of buses was extended to the option to rent a 737 plane, according to the state contract signed on January 14.
During Ducey’s tenure, more than 3,000 people were bused from the Yuma, Arizona area to the nation’s capital at a total cost of more than $7 million.
Republican lawmakers earmarked $15 million for the program last year.
Hobbs said his approach is different from that of Republican Gov. Gregg Abbot of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida, who have transported migrants to Democratic-run cities to make a political point.
“We are interested in focusing on the humanitarian aspects of this and simply putting people on a bus as a political stunt and sending them to Martha’s Vineyard or wherever they went offers no help or solution to the current problem,” Hobbs was quoted as saying by the newspaper.