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Ducey Deploys National Guard To Border Amid Influx Of Migrants and Asylum Seekers

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel,File

Governor Doug Ducey will send the Arizona National Guard to the state’s southern border amid what many officials are calling an immigration crisis. It comes as a record number of asylum seekers and undocumented migrants amass at the international border. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Ducey’s emergency declaration orders the deployment of up to 250 National Guard troops to assist state troopers and local law enforcement. They’ll also help with medical operations in detention centers, install border cameras and analyze satellite imagery in smuggling corridors along the border.

In a video statement, the Republican governor accused the Biden-Harris administration of failing to act on the growing numbers of migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed. Local law enforcement and mayors are calling out for help. Citizens in our border communities are concerned for their safety. And nonprofits, left to pick up the pieces of broken federal policies are strained," said Ducey.

Ducey says the operation will cost the state $25 million.

Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended nearly 19,000 children who were traveling alone at the border, the largest monthly number ever recorded. It’s strained holding facilities and leaders in some towns say they’ve been overwhelmed by the influx of migrants.

Ducey will visit Yuma County Wednesday to meet with local officials.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom as executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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