“They Want To Pour Gasoline On The Fire”
PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today released the following statement regarding the Biden administration’s announcement of their plan to lift Title 42 on May 23.
“In Arizona, our brave law enforcement professionals are working hard to protect border communities, all Arizonans and migrants. Yet the worst border crisis in over 20 years continues to receive no attention from the federal government. The Biden administration and Congress have turned a blind eye to our southern border for over a year now, and it’s devastating our communities.
“Title 42 is one of the last measures still in place that helps our border agents do their jobs — and it’s only still in effect because of the advocacy of border governors like Governor Abbott and myself. President Biden is now trying to repeal it to make a political statement.
“Title 42 allows federal officials to prohibit the entry of those who potentially pose a health risk. Even as we emerge out of the pandemic, this is a no-brainer policy that protects the health and well-being of American citizens. The removal of Title 42 will cause considerable harm to Arizona’s border communities, our state and our entire country.
“Customs and Border Protection since October 1, 2021 has encountered over 830,000 migrants — more than double the number at this time last year, and four times the number two years ago.
“Arizona has taken proactive measures to mitigate the crisis at the border and protect our state. We deployed the National Guard and invested $55 million toward that support mission, and this year’s budget proposes an additional $50 million in the Border Security Fund. Local law enforcement officials like Sheriff Mark Dannels, Sheriff Leon Wilmot and their teams have also worked around the clock to maintain law and order and keep our neighborhoods safe.
“It’s the federal government’s job to secure our border. Yet President Biden, Vice President Harris and Secretary Mayorkas have paid no mind to this crisis, and now they want to pour gasoline on the fire by lifting Title 42.
“What’s happening at the southern border is a national security crisis, a public safety crisis and a humanitarian crisis. The safety of our nation depends on effective policies like Title 42. Lifting it will severely impact our country, and the Biden administration must keep it in place.”
In July 2021, Governor Ducey successfully lobbied the Biden administration to continue Title 42 border protections and called on Congress to protect Title 42 from future Biden interference.
On March 19, 2021, Governor Ducey traveled to Douglas, Arizona to get a first-hand view of the security and humanitarian situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. After taking an aerial border tour, the Governor received a briefing and held a press conference and a border security roundtable.
On April 20, 2021, Governor Ducey issued a Declaration of Emergency and deployed the Arizona National Guard to the southern border to support local law enforcement efforts as the nation experiences a rapid increase in apprehensions and migrant children in federal custody.
The day after issuing the Declaration of Emergency, Governor Ducey toured Arizona’s border in Yuma and received a briefing on the escalating humanitarian and security crisis from Border Patrol, local law enforcement and community leaders.
On May 11, 2021, Governor Ducey joined 19 fellow governors to call on President Biden and Vice President Harris to reverse their destructive border policies.
On June 10, 2021, In June, Governor Ducey and Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to all U.S. governors asking them to send available law enforcement resources to the border.
On June 30, 2021, the Arizona Legislature passed and Governor Ducey signed the FY 2022 budget, which included $25 million in state funding for the National Guard border mission and $30 million to assist law enforcement with border security operations, in addition to existing funding for the Border Strike Force.
On August 13, 2021, Governor Ducey called for the resignation of Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas following explosive leaked comments in which Mayorkas called the border crisis “unsustainable,” said “these numbers cannot continue” and said “if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose.”
On August 18, 2021, Governor Ducey announced a one-year extension of the Arizona National Guard’s border security mission.
On September 20, 2021, Governor Ducey and 25 fellow governors requested an urgent meeting with President Biden to find meaningful solutions to the border crisis. Their hope was to meet with the president and his team directly to discuss actions the administration can take. Secretary Mayorkas responded two months later on November 24, but has not taken meaningful actions.
On October 6, 2021 Governor Ducey joined Texas Governor Greg Abbott and eight other governors in Mission, Texas, for a border security briefing and press conference, where they detailed a ten-point plan for the Biden administration to resolve the border crisis.
On November 30, 2021, Governor Ducey sent a team of the state’s top law enforcement officers to meet with their counterparts in Texas to discuss the current border crisis, share best practices, and discuss future partnerships, including the American Governors’ Border Strike Force. The delegation included Major General Kerry Muehlenbeck, Department of Public Safety Director Heston Silbert and Department of Homeland Security Director Tim Roemer.
On December 7, 2021, following unanswered calls to the Biden administration for a plan to resolve the border crisis and increase federal assistance, Governor Ducey again took action when the federal government failed to, surging public safety resources to the Yuma Sector of the Southern Border.
That same week, Arizona Department of Public Safety Troopers seized dangerous drugs, with an estimated value of more than $5.1 million, that were being transported from southern Arizona toward the Phoenix area.
On January, 6, 2022, Governor Ducey announced a $7.5 million investment to expand the Arizona Western College Law Enforcement Training Academy in Yuma, supporting those who are dedicated to protecting Arizona.
On January 14, 2022, Governor Ducey released his fiscal year 2023 budget, which makes significant investments in border security.
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