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Ducey wants to deploy the National Guard to the Arizona border

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Ducey wants to deploy the National Guard to the Arizona border

  • Army National Guard soldiers, members of an entry identification team, watch the U.S.-Mexico border near Nogales, January 2007.
    U.S. ArmyArmy National Guard soldiers, members of an entry identification team, watch the U.S.-Mexico border near Nogales, January 2007.

Gov. Doug Ducey wants to use Arizona National Guard troops to help local law enforcement officials to deal with the crisis at the Mexican border and is asking the federal government to help cover the costs.

Ducey tweeted on Friday that he requested federal reimbursement for a National Guard deployment during a phone call with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Our sheriffs need help. Our mayors need help. Border patrol needs help. And we have a real opportunity to partner to ensure additional boots on the ground are available to manage this crisis,” Ducey tweeted on Friday morning. “In Arizona, we’ve previously deployed the National Guard to the border to support law enforcement. I’ve requested federal reimbursement for deployment, so we can do it again and get this crisis under control.”

It’s unclear how many troops Ducey wants to send to the border, where he hopes to deploy them, or exactly what duties he wants them to perform. The Ducey administration refused to answer questions for the Arizona Mirror.

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva disagreed with the governor's decision to deploy troops to the border. “The humanitarian situation that families and children at the border are experiencing warrants a comprehensive humanitarian response, and another troop deployment is not the answer. Instead of highlighting the real issues facing our border like a gutted asylum system and long-running backlogs, Governor Ducey has ripped a page straight out of the Republican playbook and threatened to ​once again send in the troops. This will not solve the backlogs, will not help border communities, and most importantly, will not ensure the proper treatment and care of asylum seeking adults and unaccompanied children. We’ve seen this before with past troop deployments during the Trump Administration. Sending in more troops will only ​further militarize border communities and provide a military solution to a humanitarian challenge.“

The governor’s request comes in response to a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, the largest in nearly 20 years as unaccompanied minors and others from Central America seek refuge in the United States. Federal authorities have informed officials in Tucson and Yuma that tent facilities will be erected to temporarily house migrants, and the town of Gila Bend, located about 75 miles north of the border, declared a state of emergency in response to the influx of migrants, The Associated Press reported.

This wouldn’t be the first time Ducey has deployed the Arizona National Guard to the border. In 2018, he deployed 338 troops in response to a surge in border crossings.

This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.

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