Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is asking President Barack Obama to extend the presence of National Guard troops on the southwestern border past the June 2011 deadline he authorized in 2010. She also asked that an additional 250 troops be added to the Joint Counter Narco-Terrorism Task Force.
|Gov. Jan Brewer (AP photo)
“I am concerned that when the current mission ends in June, the gains we have made will be immediately lost,” the GOP governor said in three-page letter to the president. “Arizona can ill afford that kind of loss in the effort to secure the border.”
She said that since the mission started in October 2010, the “Arizona National Guard has been involved in approximately 19,000 observations, 10,000 apprehension assists, and 235 drug seizure assists involving over 18 tons of marijuana.
“Additionally, National Guard analysts are assisting in 19 active federal investigations that include money laundering, narcotics, and human smuggling.”
Brewer has previously written to the president about increasing the number of helicopters used in border security and renewed that request in this letter. She also made a plea for increased spending.
“I strongly believe that funding additional military personnel for border operations is an essential part of the long-term solution to security and safety, not just for border communities, but also for Arizona, the southwest region and our country as a whole,” she wrote.
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