What they’re saying: Leaders respond to Doug Ducey’s call for help at the border

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FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2019, file photo, Central American migrants wait to see if their number will be called to cross the border and apply for asylum in the United States, at the El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana, Mexico.(AP Photo/Emilio Espejel, File)

Last week, Doug Ducey and Texas governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to all U.S. governors requesting they send any available law enforcement resources to help with the ongoing border crisis, Arizona Today reported. The hope is the additional law enforcement support from other states will provide much-needed assistance in Arizona and Texas. In May, 180,034 migrants were encountered along the border, an increase over the 178,000 encountered in April reported Fox News. 173,000 were encountered in March, which is one of the highest numbers in years.

In April, Gov. Ducey declared a state of emergency at the southern border and deployed the Arizona National Guard to support law enforcement agencies in border regions. In May, Ducey joined 19 other governors to call for Joe Biden to take action and reverse their policies regarding the U.S. border. The group wrote a letter to President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris describing worsening conditions at the border.

Several Arizona congressmen responded to the governor’s border assistance request.

In a press release, Rep. Raul Grijalva stated, “For four years, Governor Ducey was Trump’s willing cheerleader as the former president created a humanitarian crisis at the border, dismantled our legal asylum system, continued to militarize our border, and engaged in rampant human rights abuses. Where was his outrage then?

“President Biden has taken real steps to manage the border, improve the intake and processing of asylum seekers, and designated federal funds to reimburse local stakeholders helping asylum seekers. If Governor Ducey wanted to take real action, he’d stop his baseless political posturing, stop scapegoating asylum seekers, and instead work with the Biden Administration to better manage the border.”

On Twitter, he stated, “The border wall has always been a massive waste of money and caused enormous environmental harm to the borderlands. Now, the Biden Administration must work with local stakeholders on environmental remediation efforts.”

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick also responded to the joint letter. Rep. Kirkpatrick stated, “First, it is unclear what this plan is. Second, me and my office have been in constant contact with local groups and community organizations on the ground who are working tirelessly to understand the flow of migration into southern Arizona. We know many people trying to enter the U.S. are fleeing violence and unstable conditions at home.

“The Governors’ letter paints a broad brush and is a continuation of the same inhumane border policies we saw over the last 4 years, which not only proved ineffective but were antithetical to our values as Americans. We must call this what it is – a political stunt that has no intention of solving the real issues that we’re seeing at our southern border. What we actually need is real, comprehensive immigration reform that is humane and just, and that addresses the cause of migration at its root. We need more federal resources that help with processing, transportation, and shelter. In Congress, I am working alongside the Biden Administration to accomplish that.

“It comes as no surprise to me that Governor Ducey is continuing to politicize this issue and creating a fearful narrative around our borderlands instead of learning the complexities of the issue,” she concluded.

In contrast, Rep. Debbie Lesko commented on Twitter, “Biden claimed border crossings are “way down now, we’ve now gotten control.” The border is anything BUT under control. We have a drug crisis, a national security crisis, AND a humanitarian crisis that is only getting worse with each passing month under this administration.”

Rep. Andy Biggs commented on Twitter and also posted an interview he did on Fox News. Biggs stated, “Record high border crossings and record low deportations. Are you catching on?”