Arizona Gov. Ducey to keep National Guard at the border for another year

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has announced that he's keeping members of the National Guard at the U.S.-Mexico border for another year, citing a record high number of border crossings and calling the situation "out of control."

The Republican governor announced Wednesday that troops that he sent to the border in April will remain deployed. He criticized the Biden Administration for failing to secure the border amid a surge of migrants that began after former President Donald Trump left office.

"The Biden-Harris administration has utterly failed to secure the border," said Governor Ducey in a statement on Aug. 18. "It’s clear that this White House has neither the ability nor the desire to address the border disaster — a crisis of their own making."

More than 150 Guard members were deployed to the border in April after Ducey declared a state of emergency due to the high number of migrants crossing into the state from Mexico. The troops are providing logistics and administrative support to local law enforcement, maintaining and monitoring surveillance cameras, doing data analysis and providing medical care at detention centers. year

The governor cited a report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection that showed that there were 212,679 encounters with migrants illegally crossing the border in July 2021, setting a 21-year high.

"The brave men and women of the Arizona National Guard are standing in the gaps," Ducey said. "Their mission directly contributes to the success of law enforcement officers working to maintain law and order on Arizona’s southern border."

The extended operation will be funded with $25 million from the 2022 budget.

The governor sent members of the Guard to help the Border Patrol boost security in April 2018 after a request from then-President Donald Trump. The last troops on that mission left in November 2020, said Major Kyle Key, a Guard spokesman.

That mission was federally funded.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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