Doug Ducey declares emergency at the Arizona’s southern border

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey addresses the media on COVID-19 during a news conference in Phoenix, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic via AP)

Governor Doug Ducey on Tuesday issued a Declaration of Emergency at the state’s southern border. He will deploy the Arizona National Guard to help law enforcement with the sudden increase of apprehensions and migrant children. Ducey says the state will provide $25 million in initial funding for the mission. Last week, Attorney General Mark Brnovich sued the Biden administration over what he calls “environmentally disruptive” decisions to halt border wall construction and change immigration policies.

Ducey stated, “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.”

Gov. Ducey posted on Twitter, “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.”

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Brigadier General Kerry L. Muehlenbeck will lead around 250 Guardsman and will help law enforcement officers with medical operations, installing border cameras, monitoring and collecting data from public safety cameras, and analyzing satellite imagery for current trends in smuggling corridors.

Muehlenbeck stated, “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. 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.”

According to the press release, 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.