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Ducey declares emergency, deploys Arizona National Guard to border

Border Patrol
Posted at 1:46 PM, Apr 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-20 21:20:53-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Gov. Doug Ducey issued a Declaration of Emergency Tuesday and announced he would be deploying the Arizona National Guard to the southern border.

The governor says the state will provide $25 million in funding for the mission to "support local law enforcement efforts," according to a news release from the governor's office.

Up to 250 guardsmen will head to the border, the governor's office says, under the leadership of newly appointed Adjutant General and Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Brigadier General Kerry L. Muehlenbeck.

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According to the news release, the guard will, "assist with medical operations in detention centers, install and maintain border cameras, monitor and collect data from public safety cameras and analyze satellite imagery for current trends in smuggling corridors."

The governor is also planning a visit to Yuma County Wednesday to speak with community leaders and law enforcement officials about the border.

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In addition, Gov. Ducey and legislative leaders will tour the southern border on Wednesday in Yuma.

Arizona leaders have responded to the governor issuing a Declaration of Emergency and deploying the Arizona National Guard to the southern border.

The ACLU of Arizona released the following statement:

"Today's announcement is the latest in Governor Ducey's political ploy to depict a border 'crisis' when there is none," said Borja. "Let's be clear: The Governor's actions do nothing more than further militarize our border communities and stoke unnecessary and unjustified fear."

Borja continued, "Under the Trump administration's cruel policies, our nation's asylum system was decimated creating a humanitarian crisis and endangering lives while violating people's right to seek safety in the U.S. If Governor Ducey really cared about the situation at the border, he would join the calls to restore asylum and to end deportations under Title 42."

Arizona Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva issued the following statement:

“It’s a disgrace that Governor Ducey continues to militarize our borderlands. We must stop meeting asylum-seeking children and families with guns and troops and instead, direct all resources needed at the border to localities and nongovernmental organizations to adequately assist asylum seekers. This troop deployment is purely political and does nothing to address the issues at hand. It will not solve the backlogs, will not improve the care of unaccompanied minors, and will not help border communities. Governor Ducey should work with the Biden Administration to better manage the border instead of resorting to useless political posturing that only further militarizes border communities."

Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema released the following statement:

“I welcome the Governor's action to provide logistical support to Arizona communities, and look forward to hearing more details about how the National Guard will assist. I will continue working closely with Arizona leaders and organizations to support our border communities, secure the border, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and treat all migrants and unaccompanied children fairly and humanely.”

Arizona Senator Mark Kelly issued the following statement:

“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. 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.

“I will continue working with the Governor, Border Patrol, and local leaders to secure the resources necessary for a response that prioritizes safety and public health.”

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero released this statement:

"Tucson Mayor Regina Romero released the following statement in response to Governor Ducey’s decision to deploy the Arizona National Guard to the border. Currently, the City of Tucson and local NGOs are working to provide food and shelter to asylum seekers in Tucson as they await transportation to their final destination in the U.S.

“It’s disappointing that Governor Ducey is playing politics with the National Guard, wasting Arizona taxpayer dollars in the process,” said Mayor Romero. “If Governor Ducey was truly committed to helping, he would be supporting the efforts of local governments and NGOs to provide humanitarian care, which is what we’re focused on through our efforts to house asylum seekers at local hotels. Unfortunately, the Governor is more concerned with raising his national political profile than actually working to solve this issue.”