PHOENIX - On the same day the President is expected to address immigration and border security in his State of the Union address, Governor Jan Brewer toured Arizona's border and talked to groups who say the border is not secure.
According to her staff, Border Patrol officials invited the Governor to tour the southern border. But at some point, the invitation was rescinded and said they would no longer be able to provide the tour at this time.
So on Tuesday, she met with members of the Arizona National Guard to include Adjutant General Hugo Salazar, the National Guard members of the Joint Counter Narco-Terrorism Task Force, ranchers, and the Border Patrol Union members.
She and her staff left in two Black Hawk helicopters for an aerial tour which covered all 90,000 square miles that the Tucson sector border patrol covers.
The Governor said she saw fencing and some agents on the ground. But she also believes this tour re-enforces that current manpower is not enough to provide the proper security needed to protect the border.
"I was down there today, they were on the other side of the border, getting ready to cross tonight. They were staging. Our border is open. We know, in regards to the drug cartels that they bring drugs in at a larger quantity than ever," she said.
According to the Tucson sector Border Patrol, agents have seen a steady increase in the amount of drugs coming across Arizona's border since 2006.
Currently there are 4,000 Border Patrol agents assigned to patrol the Tucson sector which goes from the New Mexico State line to the Yuma county line.
There are also 45 National Guardsmen assigned to provide aerial support along the border. The number is significantly down from the 2,800 assigned in 2008.
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