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Arizona port of entry in Lukeville reopens after monthlong closure officials said was due to processing migrants

Lukeville, Ariz. port of entry
Lukeville, Ariz. port of entry

An Arizona port of entry that was closed last month for what border officials said was a larger than usual number of asylum seekers in the area reopened Thursday.

The Lukeville port of entry, located about midway between Yuma County and Nogales, Ariz, reopened along with the Morley Gate in Nogales. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials had closed the port on Dec. 4 indefinitely.

Tourists from Phoenix who primarily use the Lukeville port as their most direct path into Puerto Peñasco/Rocky Point said they were upset they would have to take longer routes through Nogales or San Luis, Ariz.

Furthermore, businesses in the Lukeville area were impacted and the other Arizona ports braced for higher traffic during an already busy month for Mexicans going home to see family and friends during the holidays as well as the usual traffic from farmworkers.

U.S. Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema issued a joint statement saying they are happy the port was reopening but that more must be done to help border communities and specifically non-profit organizations who are providing services for migrants.

In their statement, Sens. Kelly and Sinema said "in Arizona, we continue to experience the devastating effects of this unacceptable closure and our broken border system. Arizona’s border communities are in crisis – and closing Lukeville and redirecting port officers to help U.S. Border Patrol process migrants due to a broken border system further destabilized our border and disrupted trade and tourism our economy depends on."

Gov. Katie Hobbs, who visited the Lukeville port soon after it closed, said she was also pleased with the reopening but that more must be done.

In a released statement, Gov. Hobbs said "While the reopening is welcome news, this closure shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Arizona’s ports of entry are vital to national security and trade, and it’s critical that the federal government sends more resources to ensure this does not happen again."

Victor is originally from West Sacramento, California and has lived in Arizona for more than five years. He began his print journalism career in 2004 following his graduation from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. Victor has been a reporter for the following daily newspapers: The Monterey County Herald, The Salinas Californian and the Reno Gazette-Journal, where he covered stories including agriculture, education and Latino community news. Victor has also served as a local editor for Patch, a national news organization with hyperlocal websites, in Carmichael, California in the Sacramento area. He also served as the editor for The New Vision, the newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, which includes Yuma and La Paz counties. Victor lives in Somerton. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and following most sports.