A significant group of Arizona Republican legislators is calling upon Gov. Doug Ducey to declare a state of emergency over the crisis on the border between Arizona and Mexico. The 24 senators and representatives sent the letter to Ducey on Tuesday.
Rep. Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu), the Majority Whip, told The Arizona Sun Times, “I think all of America can agree that our southern border is a complete disaster. As this Biden-Harris administration continues to ignore our calls for help, thousands of illegal immigrants are pouring into our state daily. This administration is signaling to the world that we have an open border. Myself, along with my Republican colleagues at the Arizona Legislature, will not tolerate this lawlessness anymore. We are a land of law and order. But when the federal government fails at their duty to protect our border, it is up to us to uphold our oath to the constitution and do whatever it takes to help stop this invasion.”
In the letter, the legislators said, “If the Biden-Harris administration does not care about the well-being and safety of its citizens, then it is up to the State of Arizona to do what it can. We respectfully urge you to consider declaring a state of emergency, utilize the National Guard to assist as permitted to secure Arizona’s southern border, and immediately seek support from the Mexican government to assist the state in stopping this unprecedented surge.”
The legislators cited the failed policies and leadership of the Biden-Harris administration.
“To this day, the Biden-Harris administration continues to ignore the safety of our citizens and has allowed the nation’s border to be overrun,” the letter said.
They cited the fact the Biden administration is forcing businesses to require the COVID-19 vaccine of Americans but not of illegal immigrants crossing the border.
Additionally, they said, “we will not tolerate the Biden-Harris administration’s disregard of female military servicemembers and Border Patrol agents who endure sexual assault and harassment from illegal immigrants.”
The letter comes after Ducey and 25 other Republican governors demanded Biden meet with them within 15 days to discuss the border crisis. In a statement, Ducey said, “Governor Ducey and other governors have taken action at the state level to address the border crisis, but their abilities are constitutionally limited as implementation of our nation’s immigration laws lies in the hands of the President of the United States.”
Ducey has ordered a state of emergency on the border before, in April. He sent the National Guard there and extended its mission in August for a year. In May, state legislators passed a resolution demanding more federal assistance to deal with the border crisis. Even Arizona’s Democratic Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema issued statements demanding more help.
Illegal border crossings are at the highest they’ve been in 21 years, according to a Pew survey from July. Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot told The Washington Times earlier this week, “I’ve never seen it this bad with Border Patrol having to hold so many, and dealing with the issues we’re dealing with now because the administration won’t enforce the law.” He said there are so many migrants in custody most of the Border Patrol has been pulled off the border to deal with them, leaving the border open for drug smuggling and more migrants.
Wilmot said the Border Patrol in Yuma apprehended 1,000 people on September 22, far more than the usual 600 to 700 accosted. A year ago, when Donald Trump was still president, they would confront 25 to 35 a day. Rep. Tim Dunn (R-Yuma) and Sen. Sine Kerr (R-Yuma) both signed the letter.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has aggressively taken on the Biden administration over illegal immigration. He led on four lawsuits against the administration over the problem, called for Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to resign due to his poor handling of the issue, and wrote various letters to the administration. Ducey has also called for Mayorkas to resign.
And the issue is at the forefront of major campaigns for office in Arizona. Kari Lake, a frontrunner in the race to replace Ducey, said during a recent campaign rally, “When I am governor, we will stop this madness at the border.”
Below is a list of legislators who signed the letter.
Rep. Leo Biasiucci, District 5
Rep. Mark Finchem, District 11
Rep. Walter Blackman, District 6
Rep. Jake Hoffman, District 12
Rep. Judy Burges, District 1
Rep. Quang Nguyen, District 1
Rep. John Fillmore, District 16
Rep. Jacqueline Parker, District 16
Rep. Steve Kaiser, District 15
Rep. David Cook, District 8
Rep. Joseph Chaplik, District 23
Rep. Beverly Pingerelli, District 21
Rep. Brenda Barton, District 6
Rep. Kevin Payne, District 21
Rep. Frank Carroll, District 22
Rep. John Kavanagh, District 23
Rep. Shawnna Bolick, District 20
Rep. Tim Dunn, District 13
Sen. Sonny Borrelli, District 5
Sen. Wendy Rogers, District 6
Sen. David Livingston, District 22
Sen. Sine Kerr, District 13
Sen. Nancy Barto, District 15
Sen. Warren Petersen, District 12
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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]