Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) recently signed House Bill (HB) 2317 which directs $335 million to the Border Security Fund, calling it “the most meaningful border security legislation in Arizona history.”

“Arizona will not sit idly by as the Biden administration fails to do its job and safeguard our state and nation from the clear and present danger of an unsecure border,” Ducey said in a signing letter. “With this investment, we are giving our law enforcement professionals another critical resource they need to successfully do their jobs. We are standing up for the rule of law, and we are cementing Arizona’s commitment to securing our state and our entire nation.”

In his letter, Ducey called what is happening at the Arizona border the worst border crisis in over 20 years. Ducey pointed to a recent incident in Texas where 50 migrants were found dead in an abandoned 18-wheeler to demonstrate the severity of this humanitarian crisis. He said authorities are overrun by the number of migrants attempting to cross the border, and security has become less achievable under current circumstances. Yet, his letter outlines that a “physical structure and an enhanced virtual system” will mitigate the flow of illegal migrants and reduce criminal activity.

Furthermore, a press release from the governor’s office stated that more money is coming to the border.

On top of the $335 million outlined in HB 2317, the Fiscal Year 2023 budget also allots funding to help border security. This means the total amount going to the border is closer to a record $564 million. While most of this fund is going towards a border fence and security technology, other areas such as deputy sheriff compensation, local prosecution, and a new jail facility in Cochise County will receive financial aid.

State Representative John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills), who is the sponsor of HB 2317, gave a statement upon learning Ducey had signed the bill, thanking him for taking action when the federal government would not.

“The number of migrant encounters has skyrocketed at our border, overwhelming law enforcement and the Border Patrol,” Kavanagh said. “Thanks to the absent federal government, our border is in chaos and out of control. We need more support and physical barriers. This is a reasonable investment in Arizona’s safety and security. I’m grateful for Governor Ducey’s leadership to take action and secure the border.”

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels also gave thanks to Ducey for signing the bill and aiding the county’s efforts to protect the community.

News of this border investment came the same day the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released an opinion stating the Biden administration could overturn the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy. The policy made migrants seeking entry into America stay in Mexico while awaiting a hearing.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Doug Ducey” by Doug Ducey.