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Sinema, Kelly ask Biden to reimburse Arizona National Guard at border

(Twitter Photo/@SenatorSinema, AP photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona’s two Democratic U.S. Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly are requesting the Biden administration reimburse the state for the deployment of the Arizona National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday up to $25 million would be initially provided for the Arizona National Guard’s mission, which will start with 250 members providing logistical, field and operational support to lighten the load on local law enforcement agencies amid a surge in border crossings.

“We’re willing to pay for this out of our own budget even though this is a federal responsibility and the cost should be fully paid by the federal government,” Ducey said during a press conference in Yuma on Wednesday.

There are approximately 500 Guardsmen already deployed in the Tucson and Yuma sectors, according to Sinema.

“Additional personnel are needed at the border to ensure our communities are protected, and migrants are treated fairly and humanely,” Sinema and Kelly wrote in a letter to the administration.

Sinema, chair of the Senate border management subcommittee, voiced her support for the emergency declaration Ducey made Tuesday. The two spoke Wednesday to further discuss the situation at the border.

In addition to funding the deployment, Sinema and Kelly have asked the administration to “continue to increase DHS personnel who can further assist with the processing of migrants, securing the border and executing important security missions.”

“This need for a secure and orderly process at the U.S. southern border should not fall on the state of Arizona or Arizona border communities,” Sinema and Kelly wrote.

Sinema earmarked $110 million in the last COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan, to reimburse border agencies, communities and non-profits shouldering the burden for migrant care and transportation.

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