Gov. Doug Ducey wants to use Arizona National Guard troops to help local law enforcement officials to deal with the crisis at the Mexican border and is asking the federal government to help cover the costs.
Ducey tweeted on Friday that he requested federal reimbursement for a National Guard deployment during a phone call with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
In Arizona, we’ve previously deployed the National Guard to the border to support law enforcement. I’ve requested federal reimbursement for deployment, so we can do it again and get this crisis under control. 3/3
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) March 26, 2021
“Our sheriffs need help. Our mayors need help. Border patrol needs help. And we have a real opportunity to partner to ensure additional boots on the ground are available to manage this crisis,” Ducey tweeted on Friday morning. “In Arizona, we’ve previously deployed the National Guard to the border to support law enforcement. I’ve requested federal reimbursement for deployment, so we can do it again and get this crisis under control.”
It’s unclear how many troops Ducey wants to send to the border, where he hopes to deploy them, or exactly what duties he wants them to perform. The Ducey administration refused to answer questions for the Arizona Mirror.
The governor’s request comes in response to a surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, the largest in nearly 20 years as unaccompanied minors and others from Central America seek refuge in the United States. Federal authorities have informed officials in Tucson and Yuma that tent facilities will be erected to temporarily house migrants, and the town of Gila Bend, located about 75 miles north of the border, declared a state of emergency in response to the influx of migrants, The Associated Press reported.
This wouldn’t be the first time Ducey has deployed the Arizona National Guard to the border. In 2018, he deployed 338 troops in response to a surge in border crossings.