ARIZONA, USA — Within her first hundred days in office, Gov. Katie Hobbs took a third trip down to the US Mexico border.
This time, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas joined Hobbs in the trip. Both discussed the issues they’ve heard about from those in the area, focusing on immigration and deadly drugs being smuggled across the border.
“The only way out of this crisis is through partnership,” Hobbs said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Mariposa Port of Entrance in Nogales.
The event was held the same day that marked three years since Title 42 was enacted during the pandemic. The Trump-era order created heavy restrictions for asylum protections and expelled hundreds of thousands of migrants.
When Mayorkas was asked about Title 42 and how it is set to expire in May, he said they started coming up with a plan in back in 2021.
“Which is designed to really preserve the institution of asylum which we are so proud of but at the very same time cut out the smuggling organizations that exploit migrants at their most vulnerable of time,” Mayorkas said.
He and Hobbs both focused more on the fentanyl crisis plaguing Arizona and the country. Mayorkas said the problem is only getting worse. Ports of entry have seized more fentanyl in the last two years than ever before.
“The drug cartels have grown bigger, more sophisticated, and more treacherous,” Mayorkas said.
Which is why he discussed "Operation Blue Lotus" that focuses on these drug seizures and arresting those responsible. Mayorkas said it led to 18 seizures, 16 federal arrests and stopped more than 900 pounds of fentanyl.
“It is a monumental shift and an example of how we are taking it to the cartels to the traffickers and we will not stop,” Mayorkas said.
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