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U.S. Army Spc. Adrian Salazar observes a bridge at the Customs and Border Protection crossing in Laredo, Texas, in August, one of many support jobs performed at the border in recent years by National Guard soldiers and active-duty military personnel. A recent audit questions the Defense Department’s cost estimates for those deployments.

The Pentagon did not have reliable estimates for the cost of its work supporting Homeland Security efforts on the southwestern border and did not assess the impact of those efforts on military readiness, a new report says. The report by the Government Accountability Office also chided the Defense Department for failing to fully report its border costs to Congress in 2019, and said the Pentagon and Homeland Security need to come to an agreement on the level of long-term support. Read more»

U.S. District Judge Diane Humetewa of Arizona testifies Wednesday via teleconference for a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. Humetewa said more judges are needed to address legal needs for a rapidly growing Arizona population.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers held a meeting of a House Judiciary subcommittee with oversight on the U.S. courts to consider the excessive caseloads that plague judges across the United States, particularly in the Ninth Circuit. The hearing came three years after the Judicial Conference recommended to Congress that at least five new judgeships be created for the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Read more»

Since the recession hit, Arizona has imposed some of the highest college tuition increases in the country while making some of the deepest cuts, according to a new national report.

Arizona continues to be one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to funding higher education, still reeling from deep budget cuts that were made during the recession, according to a new national report. Read more»

Apache Stronghold activists marched in Phoenix in oppositino to the Resolution Copper mine at Oak Flat, before holding a vigil ahead of a U.S. District Court hearing on their case. The judge in that case rejected their request for a preliminary injunction Friday.

U.S. District Judge Steven Logan rejected a request by the group Apache Stronghold for a preliminary injunction against the proposed Resolution Copper Mine on Oak Flat, saying the group did not have standing to challenge the project and questioning the merits and likelihood of success of the claim. Read more»

Unlike previous waves of migration, which were mostly single men, Customs and Border Protection officials say recent years have seen more families with children. In this May 2019 photo, Border Patrol agents process 1,036 men, women and children caught trying to cross the border in El Paso, Texas.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy followed a test program in west Texas in which officials were not immediately able to reunite separated families. More than 3,000 children were separated from their families, and one advocate said this week that 611 children are still in custody years later. Read more»

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, shown here in a 2019 photo, joined election officials from three other battleground states – Ohio, Michigan and Georgia – to discuss election disinformation Thursday. Hobbs said getting the truth out is the best way to handle the problem, even though she knows some people will just refuse to believe her.

In a call with AZ Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a group of election officials from the battleground states of Ohio, Michigan and Georgia said that fighting misinformation is harder when theories are spread rapidly on social media and agreed the best way to combat election misinformation is with truth, even if some refuse to believe. Read more»

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contractor takes notes in May during work on the border wall near Yuma. A legal challenge to then-President Donald Trump’s use of Pentagon money to build the wall was headed to the Supreme Court – until President Joe Biden dropped the funding policy last month.

The Supreme Court postponed upcoming hearings challenging the government's ability to divert Defense Department funds to border wall construction and on the administration’s so-called "remain in Mexico" policy Wednesday, after both had been reversed on the first day of President Joe Biden’s term. Read more»

Detainees are silhouetted against windows of the Eloy Detention Center in this November 2018 photo. Eloy is one of the privately run prisons in Arizona that hold immigrant detainees under a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. President Joe Biden this week ordered that the Justice Department phase out contracts with privately run prisons, but the order does not affect ICE contracts.

President Joe Biden’s order that the Justice Department stop contracting with private prisons could eventually affect thousands of inmates, but the order does not affect Immigration and Customs Enforcement contracts with companies that hold immigrants awaiting hearings or deportation. Read more»

After a deadly surge over the holidays, new COVID-19 cases have started to ease back down, with the availability of vaccines giving officials more hope. Despite the gains, however, experts warn that the situation is far from over.

COVID-19 cases in Arizona may have reached a plateau after a deadly two-month surge, one expert said Wednesday, but that does not mean the pandemic is under control. Read more»

COVID-19 is on the verge of becoming the leading cause of death in Arizona, surpassing cancer and closing in on heart disease, according to the latest data from the Arizona Department of Health Services. Read more»

The Washington monument framed by security fencing that is part of the unprecedented security for Inauguration Day, which included thousands of troops and police, closed roads and security checkpoints.

After the riot of Jan. 6 that ultimately left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer, as many as 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country will be deployed to Washington along with transit police officers from around the country, local police agencies and federal law enforcement authorities. Read more»

Officials erected fences around the State Capitol complex last week after demonstrators, some armed, showed up to protest the certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win. That protest came the same day that a demonstration in Washington turned deadly, as a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

The Arizona Capitol is surrounded by two rows of chain-link fence and police presence has been increased, as authorities brace for possible violence in response to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Read more»

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