On Wednesday, the Department of Public Safety said it would enhance its presence in the Lukeville area, and would primarily focus on narcotic interdiction and human smuggling networks, and that the National Guard is expected to provide logistical, administrative and analytical support.
In a joint statement with the Department of Emergency Management they said the number of Guardsmen is expected to fluctuate, but they won’t release any more details.
Congressman Grijalva says sending the National Guard to the border is more symbolic than productive and what needs to happen is Congress providing long-term supplemental funding to deal with the humanitarian crisis at the border.
“This crisis is not going to go away,” Grijalva said. “It needs to be managed and it needs action on the part of Congress. And we haven’t seen that. Our urgency right now is to press on the Biden administration and press on leadership in the House of Representatives, the speaker and the Republican majority to do something.”
He says Congress should pass aid for Ukraine and separately have a discussion on the border and find a middle ground in order to provide the necessary resources. The pairing of these two issues in Congress has stalled funding talks.
“It should not be the penalty of a Lukeville, a Sasabe, a Douglas, a Nogales, a Tucson to have to carry the burden locally in terms of funding and support for refugee and asylum seekers that is essentially a federal responsibility,” he said.
Pima County migrant services have provided help to a record number of people in recent weeks, as the number of migrants crossing the border in areas such as Lukeville and Sasabe have also steadily increased. Douglas and Nogales have also begun offering short-term migrant services in recent months.