Arizona will bus, fly migrants from state under new Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs

Members of the Texas National Guard direct migrants exiting from a Texas Department of Criminal Justice bus at the Eagle Pass Commercial Port of Entry to || BY PAUL RATJE/BLOOMBERG/GETTY IMAGES

By Mary Jo Pitzl || TheArizona Republic

Gov. Katie Hobbs answers questions during a press conference at the Arizona Capitol on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, in Phoenix.

Arizona is continuing to move migrants out of the state’s border communities and to other destinations in the U.S., Gov. Katie Hobbs said Friday.

The program has expanded from buses to include the option of chartered air travel via a 737 aircraft, according to a state contract signed Jan. 14.

In a wide-ranging news conference at the state Capitol, the new Democratic governor said the controversial practice, started by her Republican predecessor, needs review to ensure it is effective. But she indicated it had some merit.

“It’s something that provides support to those local communities,” Hobbs told reporters, referring to border communities that are strained by the influx of migrants. “If we’re spending money to bus people, why not just get them to their final destination?”

In a follow-up statement, press secretary Josselyn Berry said the new administration is taking a different tack from what former Gov. Doug Ducey did.

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