On Tuesday, in response to the crisis on the U.S. Mexico border, Governor Doug Ducey announced he is deploying the Arizona National Guard to the border and issued a Declaration of Emergency as part of the state’s effort to support local law enforcement efforts.
Up to 250 Guardsmen will be sent to border communities and will be available to support other law enforcement agencies, like state troopers. 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.
The State will provide up to $25 million in initial funding for the mission.
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
U.S. Customs & Border Protection in March had more than 170,000 apprehensions at the Southwest border. Nearly 19,000 of those apprehensions were unaccompanied children — more than four times the number of kids apprehended in March 2020.
“The federal government’s actions have made the border less secure. This threatens the safety of our communities and law enforcement,” said Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels. “Border towns and officers need support as the crisis at the border escalates. I’m grateful to Governor Ducey for taking action and sending the National Guard to help. We welcome immigrants with open arms — but it needs to be done legally and orderly to ensure we are protecting our communities, state, and nation.”
Ducey’s decision was also welcomed by Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat, who said “the issues at the border affect the whole state, to include Maricopa County.”
“The availability of Arizona National Guard resources in support of law enforcement demands is an asset for our depleted resources. I appreciate Governor Ducey’s commitment to law enforcement organizations,” concluded Penzone.
“The crisis at the border is serious and cannot be taken lightly,” said Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot. “The Arizona National Guard will provide much-needed support to our officers and safety officials, and will help ensure Yuma and other border communities are further protected from dangerous and illegal activity. By deploying National Guard assets, the Governor will allow me to deploy more first responders to mission critical tasks where we will work side by side with our federal partners to target, apprehend and prosecute transnational criminal organizations. My thanks to the Governor for taking action to protect Arizonans, law enforcement and legal immigration.”