USA Today: National Guard Needed At Border: Arizona Governor

News Release

April 9, 2018

Gov. Doug Ducey
USA Today
April 9, 2018   

The most fundamental responsibility of government is to protect its citizens. This is an issue for all governors, but it has added meaning and complexity for border governors.

For those living with the consequences of Washington’s failures, border security isn’t a political issue, it’s a personal one. I’ve grieved with the widow of a rancher slain by an illegal immigrant and with the family members of agent Brian Terry, who was gunned down by cartel members 10 miles north of the Arizona-Mexico border. I’ve spent time with parents whose children’s lives were ruined by the drugs smuggled across our border.

The majority of illegal drugs in this country come through our southern border. If you know someone impacted by drug addiction, there’s a good chance their last “hit” came from drugs that flowed through Arizona.

For years, Americans, particularly in border states such as Arizona, have been calling on the federal government to secure our border.

It is frustrating to hear the rhetoric from the talking heads on cable news on this issue. Despite what some may say, our southern border is not secure. That is the truth, plain and simple.

That is why I am grateful for this administration’s actions to address border security. The announcement by President Trump to call up the National Guard to support the mission of the Border Patrol is needed and welcomed.

Unfortunately, there are those who like to play politics with the issue. Those of us on the border don’t have that luxury. Instead, while the politicos and pundits are busy shouting at each other, we are addressing the challenges of managing a state on the border.

We're working to save lives threatened by the hands of cartel members or by drug addiction — and the lives of those trying to cross Arizona’s unforgiving desert landscape. States such as Arizona have stepped up when Washington has failed and spent tens of millions of our state’s taxpayer dollars to supplement the great work of an understaffed Customs and Border Protection.

But with a border nearly 373 miles — longer than the entire length of Pennsylvania — we can’t do this on our own.