PHOENIX — Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Danny Seiden released the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s sudden and indefinite closure of the Lukeville port of entry during the busiest time of year for cross-border trade and travel:
“The federal government’s mismanagement of our border has reached a new height of incompetence and is now poised to cause real damage to Arizona’s economy, workers, and to commerce if not corrected.
“Closing a busy Arizona port of entry is more than an inconvenience. It is a decision that will have major repercussions for the local economy and businesses across the state that rely on visitor spending, particularly during one of the busiest months for cross-border travel. This decision could lead to job losses, business closures, and devastating impacts to local communities, including an economic hit that could reach into the billions. It also puts more pressure on our already overburdened ports in Nogales and San Luis and it creates a safety issue for travelers going to and from Rocky Point. And it’s an embarrassment that our own government is impacting the ability of hardworking Arizonans to access their hard-earned properties just south of the border.
“We reject the false choice between security and commerce; we must have both. Congress must appropriate the funds for additional Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents. They have a difficult job made more challenging by staffing levels that are too low.
“All levels of government must act with greater urgency. The president should visit the border right away and see for himself how disruptive and how damaging our broken immigration and amnesty system is to border states like ours and the rest of the country. Congress should pass an immigration reform bill that can pass both the House and Senate and get signed by the president. Passing bills in the House that will be rejected out of hand in the Senate is a waste of time that Arizona and other border states don’t have.
“We join Gov. Hobbs and the members of our delegation who have urged the White House and Congress to act now. The longer we wait, the more our border communities suffer.”
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