Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Wednesday called on President Biden to do something to quell the illegal immigration “emergency” at
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) on Wednesday called on President Biden to do something to quell the illegal immigration “emergency” at the southern border.
“President Biden, if you want to stop the disaster that’s unfolding here and will only get worse, President Biden, you should declare a national emergency and deploy the vast powers of your administration to stop what’s happening here,” said Ducey, a frequent critic of the commander in chief.
He said the Arizona National Guard initially would be concentrated in the Yuma area, but could be sent to additional areas along the border amid the surge of illegal migrants at the border.
Ducey defended his decision to declare a state of emergency in four counties along the border and called on the administration to follow suit during a press conference in Yuma on Wednesday.
“We here in Arizona are willing to step up and do our part. Yesterday I declared a state of emergency at the border and I announced we’re deploying the National Guard. Under the leadership of newly appointed Adjutant General Kerry Muehlenbeck, we will be sending up to 250 of our best women and men to our border communities, including here in Yuma.”
Ducey took aim at the Biden administration’s decision to halt construction of the border wall, but called on the president to work with the state to address the humanitarian crisis.
“I am going to support the federal government and the administration,” he continued. “We want to partner with them. So I am saying we are here in good faith to partner with you. This is federal land. This is a federal responsibility,”
His remarks come one day after declaring the national emergency, sending members of the Guard, at state’s expense, in an effort to free up police resources. The Guard is expected to help with medical operations at detention centers, oversee border camera and collect and analyze data on smuggling trends, according to an Associated Press report.
While Customs and Border Protection has restricted the number of adult migrants attempting to enter the country due to the public health order issued at at the start of the pandemic, the Biden administration has allowed unaccompanied minors and some families to remain in the U.S. while its determined if they can stay through the asylum process.
Ducey’s order was met with praise from GOP lawmakers, who argued the Biden administration has failed to address the situation.
“I supported, I think it’s right, it’s long overdue,” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) told The Post.
“Things are going downhill rapidly and they’re not doing anything about it, nothing’s going to change unless we do something, so I’m glad we’re getting the National Guard down there.”
President Biden on March 24 asked Vice President Kamala Harris to lead the administration’s response to a surge of migrants at the border, including families and unaccompanied minors from the three-country “Northern Triangle” in Central America.
But the White House later emphasized she would address only the “root causes” of migration and not border enforcement and she has not held a press briefing paid a visit to the border in those 28 days since.