Arizona’s Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs is continuing the practice of moving migrants out of the state started by her Republican predecessor former Gov. Doug Ducey.

“We need to look at that practice and make sure that it’s effective,” Hobbs said at a press conference last week. “It’s something that provides support to those local communities.”

People are being transported via bus and chartered air travel, according to a state contract reviewed by the Arizona Republic. Hobbs told the Republic, “We just wanted to make sure that we were addressing this issue and, as I talked about many times in the campaign, in a way that was the best use of taxpayer resources and something that wasn’t a political stunt.”

Under Ducey, more than $7 million was spent to bus more than 3,000 from Yuma, Ariz., according to the Associated Press. Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls issued an emergency proclamation beginning in 2021 because of the influx of people arriving to the border city. More than 1,000 people arrive in the Yuma region daily, and the Regional Center for Border Health, a nonprofit, helps transport as many as 500 people a day from Yuma, according to the city.

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Republican governors have been criticized for transporting migrants to cities run by liberal lawmakers. The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan group, said in a statement last year that these surprise drop-offs “have transformed the quarrel into one pitting Republican state officials against state- and city-level Democrats in the middle of an election season, exacerbating a deep red- and blue-state divide and bringing serious consequences for migrants, many of whom are asylum seekers.”

Hobbs said the policy under her administration would differ from Republicans.

Migrants wait to be processed after crossing the border Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, near Yuma, Arizona. The Biden administration on Thursday launched an online appointment system for migrants to be exempt from limits on seeking asylum, its latest major step in eight days to overhaul border enforcement. | Gregory Bull, Associated Press

“We’re interested in focusing on the humanitarian aspects of this and just putting people on a bus as a political stunt and sending them to Martha’s Vineyard or wherever they went is not providing any help or any solution to the actual issue,” she told the Republic.

“We’re focused on how we provide support and help in these communities and to these folks who are legitimate asylum seekers.”

During her press conference, Hobbs also criticized Ducey for having shipping containers installed on federal land as a border barrier before he left office. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit over the makeshift wall and Ducey agreed to have the shipping containers removed last year.

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“We need to utilize state resources where they can be most effective and it’s really unfortunate that almost $200 million was spent on this shipping container publicity stunt,” Hobbs said. “We’re looking for ways to creatively repurpose the shipping containers that have been purchased by the taxpayers of Arizona and how we can work with local communities to address their needs, getting federal dollars quickly in to address some of the issues with migrants in some of these communities and we’ll continue to push for those needs in Washington.”

Hobbs said details were being worked out for a border visit from Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Migrants wait to be processed after crossing the border Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, near Yuma, Arizona. The Biden administration on Thursday launched an online appointment system for migrants to be exempt from limits on seeking asylum, its latest major step in eight days to overhaul border enforcement. | Gregory Bull, Associated Press