Katie Hobbs budget will defund Border Strike Force, despite campaign pledge to expand it

PHOENIX — The executive budget released Friday by Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs will defund the Border Strike Force, despite her campaign pledge to expand it.

The Border Strike Force is a law enforcement initiative established by Governor Doug Ducey in 2015 to stop dangerous crime at the border.

A provision within the executive summary for Hobbs’s budget — quietly released as a late-Friday news dump ahead of the holiday weekend — claims that the initiative “does not appear to have accomplished its intended purpose.” The summary acknowledges that her proposal therefore “eliminates the Border Strike Task Force Ongoing special line item (SLI) and its associated $17.1 million in funding” and “eliminates the Border Strike Task Force Local Support SLI and its associated $12.2 million in funding.”

However, the Democrat promised voters on the campaign trail that she would do the opposite.

During a June 2022 interview on 12 News, Hobbs told anchor Brahm Resnik that Governor Ducey “created the Border Strike Task Force that really, in reality, is a drug-interdiction unit” and pledged that one of her priorities would be “continuing to provide the support so that they’re able to carry out that job.”

Hobbs’s other border proposals include lifting Title 42, removing the shipping containers at the U.S.-Mexico border, and providing “resources” to help guide illegal immigrants “to their final destination.”