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Gov. Ducey declares border emergency, deploys Arizona National Guard

PHOENIX – Citing a lack of action from federal authorities on the border situation, Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency Tuesday and said he will deploy the state National Guard to support law enforcement efforts in southern Arizona.

“The situation in our border communities is just as bad — if not worse — than the coverage we’ve been seeing,” Ducey said in a press release.

“It’s become evidently clear that Arizona needs the National Guard, and the White House is aware of that. Yet, to this day, there has been no action from this administration, and it doesn’t look like they are going to act any time soon. If this administration isn’t going to do anything, then we will.”

The release said 250 guardsman will be heading to border communities.

“Our guard members will tackle a wide range of tasks including medical operations, camera maintenance and monitoring, data analysis, and logistics and administrative support to local sheriffs,” Brig. Gen. Kerry L. Muehlenbeck, who took over as Arizona’s adjutant general earlier this month, said in the release.

The emergency declaration covers Cochise, Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties.

The state will provide up to $25 million for the mission, according to the release. The emergency order directs $200,000 from the general fund to the director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.

Ducey also said he will visit Yuma on Wednesday to meet with community leaders and law enforcement.

“The Arizona National Guard will provide much-needed support to our officers and safety officials, and will help ensure Yuma and other border communities are further protected from dangerous and illegal activity,” Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot said in the release.

“By deploying National Guard assets, the Governor will allow me to deploy more first responders to mission critical tasks where we will work side by side with our federal partners to target, apprehend and prosecute transnational criminal organizations.”

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