PHOENIX — The intense heat of summer used to keep the number of migrants trying to cross the Sonoran Desert to a minimum. Not anymore. U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports as of June 15, it encountered more than 385,000 people who illegally crossed into the U.S. along the Arizona border.
Border security is supposed to be the job of the federal government. But with record numbers of migrants crossing into Arizona, border security is an issue in the governor’s race. Just what the four leading candidates plan to do depends on what political party they belong to.
“We can’t count on the federal government to do it,” Republican candidate Kari Lake says. Lake promises to continue funding to build the border wall. Lake also promises to take a more aggressive approach defending Arizona’s border with Mexico. She says she will send more national guardsmen and state police to the border, and work with other states to go after the cartels and actively pursue migrants to try to deport them. “You start by taking back operational control from the cartels. Then we can control what’s going back and forth on the border. Right now we truly have the cartels in charge,” Lake said.
Democrat Marco Lopez served as a Chief of Staff for U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the Obama administration. Lopez says as governor he would work with the federal government to secure the border. During a recent appearance on KAET-TV Arizona, PBS Lopez said, “how we hold them [the Biden administration] accountable is have concrete plans on technology and infrastructure. Pushing them to make those investments to secure our Arizona border.”
Republican Karrin Taylor Robson’s plan is very similar to the one Governor Ducey has in place now. It includes sending national guardsmen to the border, increasing technology and working with other states on intelligence to track and apprehend drugs and human smugglers. Taylor Robson says she would also continue building the wall. "The wall is part of the solution. We need to utilize surveillance technology where we can to supplement the value of the wall," Taylor Robson said.
Democrat Katie Hobbs’ border plan focuses on working with border communities. Hobbs says she will provide them with technology, more officers, vehicles and humanitarian aid. Hobbs says she will work with the federal government but intends to leave the job of border security to them.