YUMA, AZ — During a visit to the southern border Wednesday, Governor Doug Ducey called on President Biden to declare a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“President Biden, if you care about the border, if you care about stopping the cartels who are engaging in all kinds of bad acts... President Biden, if you want to stop the disaster that’s unfolding here and will only get worse in the coming months... President Biden, you should declare a national emergency and deploy the vast powers of your administration to stop what is happening here,” Ducey said during a news conference.
That statement comes one day after Ducey announced the deployment of National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border to support local law enforcement efforts as the nation experiences a rapid increase in apprehensions and migrant children in federal custody.
You can watch Wednesday's press conference at the border in the player below.
In a series of tweets Tuesday, Gov. Ducey said up to 250 guardsmen would be heading to the border, though no clear timeline was announced. Ducey said Wednesday that the troops will be focused in the Yuma area to begin with but will assist anywhere they are needed at the Arizona border.
Ducey has said on several occasions that he wants President Biden to send the National Guard to assist at the border across the southern U.S., but the president has not acted on that request. Ducey says Arizona will provide up to $25 million in initial funding for the mission.
"We’re willing to pay for this out of our own budget, even though this is a federal responsibility and the cost should be fully paid by the federal government," Ducey said.
Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly both said Wednesday that the federal government should step in to provide aid amid the border situation.
From April 2020 through February 2021, border apprehensions increased 460%, according to the governor's office, though nearly all of the apprehensions occurred during the Trump Administration.
In 2018, Arizona national guardsmen were among the 4,000 sent to the southwest border and the federal government footed the bill. The guard was not directly involved with border security and the mission ended in December.