Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has declared a state of emergency at the state’s southwest border and has ordered 250 National Guard troops to the region to assist local law enforcement, The Hill reports.
"The U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed. Local law enforcement and mayors are calling out for help," Ducey said Tuesday in a recorded statement. "Citizens and our border communities are concerned for their safety and nonprofits, left to pick up the pieces of broken federal policies, are strained."
He added, "I said last month that the Biden administration is totally divorced from reality. Now, at times it seems like they fully understand the reality and they’re putting their heads in the sand and trying to ignore it anyway."
The governor later said in a statement from his office: "The situation in our border communities is just as bad — if not worse — than the coverage we've been seeing. It's become evidently clear that Arizona needs the National Guard, and the White House is aware of that. Yet, to this day, there has been no action from this administration, and it doesn’t look like they are going to act any time soon. If this administration isn't going to do anything, then we will."
Director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs Brigadier General Kerry L. Muehlenbeck will lead as many as 250 National Guard members to the border, where they 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."
Muehlenbeck said in a statement: "The dedicated members of the Arizona National Guard stand ready to support our local law enforcement partners as they address border security, just like we have done for many years when called upon."
She added, "Our guard members will tackle a wide range of tasks including medical operations, camera maintenance and monitoring, data analysis, and logistics and administrative support to local sheriffs. I am proud of the men and women of the Arizona National Guard for their commitment to serving and protecting our state, all while they balance federal requirements and full-time civilian commitments. I am grateful for all they do to keep Arizonans safe and for the many employers who continue to support them."
The sheriff of Yuma County, which Ducey is set to visit tomorrow, Leon Wilmot hailed the move in a statement from the governor’s office.
"The crisis at the border is serious and cannot be taken lightly," said 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."
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