ARIZONA NEWS

Rep. Juan Ciscomani wants Arizona National Guard to provide border support

Dec 6, 2023, 2:00 PM

A U.S. Border Patrol agent instructs immigrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on Dec. 5, 2023,...

A Border Patrol agent instructs migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border on Dec. 5, 2023, in Lukeville, Arizona. U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani said he would like the Arizona National Guard to be deployed to the border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – U.S. Rep. Juan Ciscomani said Wednesday he would like to see the state National Guard deployed to southern Arizona to help alleviate the strain on border security resources.

“National Guard deployment is not a long-term solution,” the Tucson Republican told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show. “It’s an immediate thing that we need to do to solve the problem that we have right now, when we’re hitting record high numbers almost on daily basis.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have been shifting staffing to deal with a surge of illegal crossings. That included this week’s closure of Arizona’s Lukeville Port of Entry, the border crossing used for travel between the Phoenix area and Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point).

Rep. Ciscomani seeks answers on Lukeville border closure

CBP didn’t provide any information about when it would reopen the Lukeville Port of Entry, something Ciscomani hopes to change.

He joined Democratic U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton of Phoenix in sending a letter Tuesday to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, pushing for details about why Lukeville was closed and a timeline for when it will be reopened.

“We’ve heard from constituents concerned about the impact of the port’s closure on their businesses and personal travel. We’re also deeply concerned the closure may increase wait times and force trade and tourism to reroute to already understaffed ports in the Tucson and Yuma sectors,” the letter says.

How could Arizona National Guard support CBP at border?

Ciscomani previously asked the Biden administration to deploy the Arizona National Guard to provide border support “on the federal dime.”

“That would alleviate the pressure that CBP agents have right now. The National Guard could step in and do some of the work that our agents are not able to do,” Ciscomani said Wednesday. “We could reopen the port, reopen some of the lanes that have been closed, reopen the checkpoints that have been closed, as well.”

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Rep. Juan Ciscomani wants Arizona National Guard to provide border support