Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has 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.
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.
NEW: The federal government won’t act — but Arizona will. To address the crisis at the border, I’ve issued a Declaration of Emergency and am deploying the brave men and women of our @AZNationalGuard to support law enforcement efforts and protect Arizonans. pic.twitter.com/EdFkiM2C5t— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 20, 2021
They will reportedly serve a supportive role, Gov. Ducey said.
Ducey also visited the border near Yuma Wednesday afternoon and spoke with community leaders and law enforcement officials.
You can watch that press conference in the player below.
Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly said Wednesday that the federal government should step in to provide aid amid the border situation.
There is a crisis at our southern border. The administration must help address it by reimbursing Arizona for the National Guard helping with border security efforts. https://t.co/30f1MP7BtZ— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) April 21, 2021
Ducey says The Arizona National Guard will:
- Assist with medical operations in detention centers;
- Install and maintaining border cameras;
- Monitor and collect data from public safety cameras; and
- Analyze satellite imagery for current trends in smuggling corridors.
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.
Last month, Gov. Ducey considered calling a state of emergency along the Arizona border so the federal government will pay for national guardsmen to be sent to help, according to a spokesman.
Frustrated by what he views as inaction by the Biden Administration, Gov. Ducey said earlier this month that he was considering calling up the National Guard.
“The border is traditionally a federal issue and a federal focus,” said Ducey. “The Biden White House has ignored the situation at the border in Arizona and across the southern U.S.”
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.
Ducey says Arizona will provide up to $25 million in initial funding for the mission.