Gov. Hobbs proposes 5-point plan for end of Title 42, but keeps mum on details

Title 42 is ending, and many Arizona officials are concerned about what that means for Arizonans.
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 9:54 AM MST|Updated: May. 8, 2023 at 11:33 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Gov. Katie Hobbs addressed the state’s preparations with law enforcement and local officials in a morning news conference on Monday as Title 42 ends later this week.

The policy suspended all asylum cases for the past three years, rejecting millions of migrants to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, there have been worries that ending the policy will cause an influx of asylum seekers that Arizona and other border states aren’t ready to handle.

Hobbs said that the state of Arizona “will stead ready to help our border communities and NGOs as much as we can.” She spoke about her trip to the border, her interviews with border patrol officers, staff members, and humanitarian leaders who have been leading the way in caring for the migrants. “I will work tirelessly to keep Arizonans and migrants safe and to ensure an orderly process,” the governor said. “As we manage a fluid situation, our state will continue with that approach.”

The governor proposed a 5-point plan which is as follows: public safety, partnerships, transportation, emergency shelter, and executive action. “While we are prepared to take state action in any way that we can, we cannot manage this alone,” she said. “I’ve sent letters to President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas on what actions must be taken. We will continue to relentlessly pressure the federal government until we truly get the resources we need to manage the expected influx.”

The Hobbs administration listed key bullet points on its Title 42 Preparedness Approach in a...
The Hobbs administration listed key bullet points on its Title 42 Preparedness Approach in a graphic released on Monday.(Arizona's Family)

Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls also spoke at the conference. “This is a national issue, and the federal government leadership has failed to make good on this national issue,” he said. “This task is gonna be greater than anything we’ve seen in the past. The influx has already begun.” In the Yuma sector, the mayor said that as of Sunday, 1,000 people crossed the border. He added that he finds it very troubling that there is no appropriate infrastructure in place.

“What’s good for the citizens of Yuma is what’s good for the citizens of Arizona,” the mayor concluded. Representative Mariana Sandoval spoke in Spanish at the press conference, addressing that many immigrants were coming from all over Central and South America to the U.S. border and that border communities needed extra support.

The policy suspended all asylum cases for the past three years, rejecting millions of migrants in the name of stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos also echoed that the crisis at the border is a federal issue. “We all know that we can put all the uniforms you want on that border...but we also know that’s not the solution. The solution lies in the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C. It’s time that we hold those we elect to office accountable, and that we make them make an effort to reach across the aisle and get things done.” DPS Director Jeffrey Glover and Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Director Allen Clark confirmed similar concerns regarding the crisis and the overwhelming workload being adopted by border patrol officers and other law enforcement officers at the border.

The governor’s administration says that Hobbs visited the border and surrounding communities during her first 100 days in office, meeting with various organizations, Customs and Border Patrol agents, and sheriffs. Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway downplayed a few concerns around the end of Title 42 while speaking to Arizona’s Family.

President Joe Biden has sent 1,500 troops to the border to work in backup roles to prepare for a possible influx of migrants once the policy ends. On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Biden would veto a House GOP bill that aims to restrict asylum, build more border wall and cut a program that allows migrants a chance to stay in the U.S., including Ukrainian refugees. GOP lawmakers aim to vote on their Secure the Border Act on Thursday — the same day the emergency expulsion powers expire. Officials have already seen an increase in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and are bracing for more.