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Lukeville Port of Entry will reopen on Thursday

Arizona’s port of entry in Lukeville is reopening at 6 a.m. on Thursday, following a month of bipartisan criticism of the federal government for shutting it down. 

On Dec. 4, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that the Lukeville Port of Entry, which many Arizonans use to get to Rocky Point, would be closing temporarily, but never said when it would reopen. 

The agents were reassigned to assist in processing migrants due to an influx of border crossings. The decision drew frustration from both Republicans and Democrats, eventually leading Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs to deploy the state’s National Guard to the border and ask President Joe Biden to reimburse Arizona for hundreds of millions of dollars in ongoing border security-related expenses. 

While the port of entry will reopen, but the federal government has not paid Arizona back.

Arizona politicians react

Hobbs’ spokesperson Christian Slater said her office is “still determining needs on the ground,” and didn’t say yet what will happen to the National Guard members Hobbs deployed. 

In a statement, Hobbs welcomed the news but said it “shouldn’t have happened in the first place” and urged the federal government to send more resources to the border to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

In a joint statement, the state’s two U.S. senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, said they were “relieved” but that the closure was “unacceptable” and called the border system “broken.”

Sinema and Kelly had urged the Biden administration to call in the National Guard to reopen the port.

Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But, in a statement, the agency said operations will also resume at San Ysidro’s Pedestrian West in California, Eagle Pass International Bridge in Texas, and the Morely Gate in Nogales, Arizona, on the same day.

“CBP will continue to prioritize our border security mission as necessary in response to this evolving situation,” the statement said.

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Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.