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Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a joint letter to the governors of the other 48 states asking them to send additional law enforcement personnel and resources to help patrol their states’ borders with Mexico.
Ducey released a copy of the letter Thursday afternoon, scheduling its release with a border summit launched by Abbott in Del Rio, Texas.
In their letter, the two Republican governors claim that President Joe Biden’s administration “has proven reluctant or unable” to secure the US-Mexico border, citing a 20-year record of meeting with migrants in May as proof of an “openness”. border disaster. “
“Of course, border states like Texas and Arizona are the ‘ground zero’ of this crisis and are bearing a disproportionate share of those burdens,” the two-page letter reads.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Wednesday it encountered 180,034 migrants during the month of May. But nearly 62% of them have been turned away due to pandemic public health restrictions.
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Thursday’s letter described efforts by the two governors to strengthen border security in their respective states, including the deployment of the National Guard and state assets, such as the Border Strike Force in Arizona.
But both governors said more needed to be done.
Ducey and Abbott have declared emergencies while deploying the National Guard. They cited an Emergency Management Assistance Pact as part of the declaration to demand additional law enforcement from other states in response to the influx and accompanying “threats to private property. and the safety of our citizens, ”the letter reads.
They called on other governors to send law enforcement, along with assets such as drones and helicopters, to help patrol the border.
“Most importantly, this will include the power to stop migrants who illegally cross the border into our territory” in violation of state and federal crimes, the letter added.
Details on the logistics of the Arizona-Texas border law enforcement deployment, including questions about costs, responsibilities and who they would work under, were not immediately available.
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“Our efforts will only be effective if we work together to secure the border, make criminal arrests, protect landowners, rid our communities of dangerous drugs and provide Texans with the support they need and deserve,” Abbott said Thursday in a written statement.
CJ Karamargin, a spokesperson for Ducey, said there was no doubt about the two governors’ position on border security and said the end goal was to restore security to border communities.
“Across Arizona, people shouldn’t feel threatened by cartels, drug dealers, and human traffickers,” he said.
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Plan for other states to send additional law enforcement to patrol the border and stop migrants in Arizona and Texas is likely to receive a setback, especially from Democrats and advocacy groups progressive.
Neither the White House nor the US Department of Homeland Security could be reached for comment Thursday evening.
Vicki Gaubeca is the Executive Director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, which represents more than 60 community and advocacy organizations along the US-Mexico border.
She said that instead of coming up with new and effective solutions, Ducey and Abbott were creating hysteria and fueling nefarious narratives about migrants and border communities.
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“When I see them describing, sort of portraying a broad line on all of these individuals as being criminals, which is a typical fear tactic, it confuses people and scares them,” she said. “When the reality is that the vast majority of people who arrive at the border are only trying to shelter themselves from the criminal elements.”
But at least some elected leaders in southern Arizona have expressed support for Ducey and Abbott’s plans to provide additional support to border law enforcement.
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said current statistics, including in his border county, showed “we are in an epidemic,” he said.
Although he had questions about the details of the plan, the sheriff said he was happy to hear the governors talk about the need for a “manageable and secure border” and would wait for the governor to provide those details to the government. good time.
Dannels praised Ducey’s decision to deploy the National Guard to the Arizona border. He has 32 members of the guard assigned to the sheriff’s office who help operate and monitor cameras and assist in their detention center, which he says has been of great help to rural departments like the his.
“What’s amazing, with everything going on at the border, one thing that doesn’t stop is our general crime calls where we have to answer domestic calls and other calls for service,” Dannels said. . “This continues every day, so having this extra resource in non-application roles is really a blessing for us.”
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Other details on the timing of the arrival and deployment of law enforcement from other states to the Arizona and Texas borders were also unclear, although Karamargin said there was some emergency.
Ducey and Abbott’s letter also failed to establish benchmarks on how to measure the success of their request to bring additional law enforcement to the border.
“We have seen the numbers increase since the start of the year. A reversal of this trend is probably the best indication,” Karamargin said.
Got news or ideas for articles on immigration or the US-Mexico border? Contact the reporter at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @RafaelCarranza.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Doug Ducey and Greg Abbott Call on Other States to Help Patrol the Border