PHOENIX — According to the President Biden administration, Customs Enforcement and Border Protection apprehended 172,000 people at the Southwest border in March, the most in 15 years. Of those apprehended, 19,000 were unaccompanied children and teenagers, the most ever in a single month.
Frustrated by what he views as inaction by the Biden Administration, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he is considering calling up the National Guard.
“The border is traditionally a federal issue and a federal focus,” said Ducey. “The Biden White House has ignored the situation at the border in Arizona and across the southern U.S.”
Ducey wants the Arizona National Guard on the border to help deal with the rise in border patrol apprehensions, and he also wants the federal government to pay for it.
Just like Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump did during their administrations, Biden has yet to act and it appears the governor is running out of patience.
“So we have options as a state of course. We are working with ranchers, border sheriffs, leaders at the county level,” said Ducey. “I plan to talk with the President on what their next steps will be. But the National Guard will be part of the solution. We will have action taken.”
At the introduction of Brigadier General Kerry Muehlenbeck, as the first woman to lead the Arizona National Guard, Ducey seemed to be tipping his hand on what the state’s new Adjutant General’s first order will be.
Governor Ducey says if necessary, he's willing to spend state money to send the Arizona National Guard to the Mexico border to help with the recent increase in migrants crossing into the state. Hear more from Governor Ducey tonight on ABC15 News at 5 p.m. pic.twitter.com/rnVksBfcti— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) April 8, 2021
“Yes we are going to use every tool, authority and resource that we have to be successful on the Southern Border,” said Ducey. "We need to work in partnership with the federal government, but Arizona is going to act regardless.”
In previous border deployments, the National Guard served a support role. Ducey sees a similar assignment for them this time, by assisting federal and county partners as they deal with people who keep trying to enter into the United States.
This article was written by Mark Phillips for KNXV.