Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) has issued a Declaration of Emergency and the deployment of National Guard troops to the state’s southern border to assist local law enforcement with the overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants pouring into the U.S. from Mexico.
What are the details?
Ducey’s office announced the state of emergency Tuesday, saying that “the State will provide up to $25 million in initial funding for the mission” that entails up to 250 guardsmen assisting at border communities by providing medical care in detention centers, installing surveillance cameras, and other services.
The media release noted that U.S. Customs and Border Protection saw more than 170,000 apprehensions at the U.S. southern border in March, nearly 19,000 of which “were unaccompanied children — more than four times the number of kids apprehended in March 2020.”
“The situation in our border communities is just as bad—if not worse—than the coverage we’ve been seeing,” the governor said in a statement.
He then hit out at the Biden administration’s failure to act on the crisis, saying:
“It’s become evidently clear that Arizona needs the National Guard, and the White House is aware of that. Yet, to this day, there has been no action from this administration, and it doesn’t look like they are going to act any time soon. If this administration isn’t going to do anything, then we will.”
Fox News reported that Ducey’s move is supported by both the state’s Democratic U.S. senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly, who wrote a joint letter urging fellow Democrat President Joe Biden to reimburse their state for the deployment of the Guard.
Sen. Mike Kelly (D) issued a separate statement saying, “”There is a crisis on the border and I have pushed the administration for the additional resources, staffing, transportation, and the testing necessary to provide a secure, orderly process that does not fall on Arizona communities.”
“In visiting the Yuma Sector and speaking with Border Patrol and other local leaders, it’s clear that their resources and staffing are strained,” Kelly continued. “There are important missions that the Arizona National Guard can perform at the border and the governor calling them up will provide assistance to both local law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security.”
Arizona is not the first state to deploy National Guard troops to assist at the southern border.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) deployed the Guard in early March, launching “Operation Lone Star” to respond to the crisis.
The Hill noted:
Biden ended that emergency order but has kept the Guard presence at the border. The Pentagon said last month that the troop deployment could be extended past an expected fall end date.