Arizona Governor Ducey Tours Border in Yuma Day After Announcing State of Emergency, Guard Activated
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey toured the U.S.-Mexico border near Yuma Wednesday, a day after announcing a state of emergency and his activating the Arizona National Guard.
Ducey said he wanted to see firsthand what he says is a security and humanitarian crisis at the border and to call out the Biden Administration for its “failed leadership.”
The governor met with Yuma Sector Border Patrol officials and was joined by elected officials and border sheriffs.
“We will be sending up to 250 of our best women and men to our border communities, including here in Yuma," Ducey said in front of a section of border fence west of Yuma. "They’ll be able to provide logistical, field and operational support to Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot and his team.”
A soft-sided facility for migrants was opened this week at the Yuma Sector Border Patrol Headquarters.
Ducey was joined by Senate President Karen Fann, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Adjutant Gen. Kerry Muehlenbeck, Sheriff Wilmot, Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls, Yuma County Supervisor Jonathan Lines, San Luis Mayor Jerry Sanchez, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, local agriculture leaders and other leaders and members of the legislature.
The governor received a briefing on Border Patrol operations from Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Chris Clem. Ducey said the Yuma Sector encompasses 126 miles of international border with Mexico, with three checkpoints currently manned by more than 700 Border Patrol agents.
Ducey declared a state of emergency in six counties including Yuma, Maricopa, Pima, Cochise, Santa Cruz and Pinal, and deployed the Arizona National Guard to the state’s southern border to support law enforcement efforts.
Ducey said the state will provide up to $25 million in initial funding for the mission.
Since January, the U.S.-Mexico border has been experiencing a sharp rise in illegal crossings and migrant children in federal custody. Ducey said U.S. Customs & Border Protection in March had more than 170,000 apprehensions at the Southwest border, the highest number in any month in at least 15 years.
U.S. senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema wrote a letter to the Biden Administration to help address the crisis at the southern border by reimbursing Arizona for the deployment of National Guardsmen to Arizona’s border supporting border security efforts.
"We stand ready to work with you to support our border communities, secure the border, prevent the spread of COVID-19 and treat all migrants and unaccompanied children fairly and humanely,” the senators wrote.
Stay tuned to KAWC for more coverage from Gov. Ducey's visit to the border near Yuma.