Arizona officials react to planned National Guard deployment to the border

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Members of the National Guard patrol along the Rio Grande at the Texas-Mexico border, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Rio Grande City, Texas. (Source: AP Photo/Eric Gay) Members of the National Guard patrol along the Rio Grande at the Texas-Mexico border, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Rio Grande City, Texas. (Source: AP Photo/Eric Gay)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
This March 9, 2016, file photo, shows a stop sign in front of the international border fence in Nogales, Ariz. (Source: AP Photo/Astrid Galvan, File) This March 9, 2016, file photo, shows a stop sign in front of the international border fence in Nogales, Ariz. (Source: AP Photo/Astrid Galvan, File)
WASHINGTON (3TV/CBS 5) -

President Donald Trump on Wednesday officially signed a proclamation directing the deployment of the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a memorandum, Trump said the "situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis."

The document orders the secretary of defense to support the Department of Homeland Security in securing the southern border to stop the flow of drugs and people.

It also demands agency heads submit a report within 30 days outlining what other steps can be taken. 

[READ MORE: Trump orders National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border]

[RELATED: Trump says he'll send the military to the border. Bush and Obama did, too]

[WHITEHOUSE.GOV: What you need to know about the president’s authorization for the National Guard to deploy to the southern border]

Trump says that "lawlessness" at the southern border is "fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people." And he says his administration "has no choice but to act."

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's said he has been speaking with  Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen multiple times this week and plans to "cooperate fully with the administration on this effort."

[READ MORE: Arizona governor embraces Trump plan for Guard on border]

In a statement, the Governor's office said, "Arizona welcomes the deployment of National Guard to the border. Washington has ignored this issue for too long and help is needed. For Arizona, it’s all about public safety.

"Since 2015, Arizona's Border Strike Force has demonstrated the success that can come when state, local and federal law enforcement partner to protect our border. Anything we can do to further bolster these efforts is good news for Arizona and for our national security. I look forward to working closely with federal officials on this important issue."

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Arizona National Guard said it had not yet received any orders regarding a border mission. 

Sgt. 1st Class Robert Freese, State Public Affairs Chief for the AZ Natn'l Guard sent AZFamily a statement saying, "We cannot elaborate on where or what Arizona National Guard soldiers and airmen may be requested to do in support of our law enforcement agency partners and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Arizona National Guard stands ready to carry out the orders of our governor when called upon.

[POWER OF 2 SPECIAL REPORT: 24 hours on the border]

Sen. Martha McSally took to Twitter in support of the idea saying: "Deploying the National Guard to our Southern Border will help keep Arizona safe. Securing our Southern Border has always been about protecting this country and its citizens from harm. I fully support President @realdonaldtrump and DHS @SecNielsen’s decision.

Four Arizona counties share a border with Mexico. Santa Cruz County is the smallest, but is home to the busy Mariposa Port of Entry. 

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said rather than sending National Guard troops simply to hep track illegal border crossers, he wants to see the federal government spending its time detecting drugs smuggling through ports of entry, which he says have long been 'understaffed.' 

"I don't see that to be a situation where we're being overrun by a swarm of people coming across the border like most of the rhetoric that you hear,' said Estrada. 

Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says 415,200 people were apprehended after crossing into the US illegally, or marked 'inadmissible' and turned away at border crossings nationwide. In 2016 there were 563,200.

The year before saw 444,800 apprehended and inadmissible border crossers, down from 569,200 in 2014 and 489,500 in 2013.

[INFOGRAPHIC: Click here to chart the numbers]

"I do believe this is just one of the tactics that the President has to try to force people in Congress to give him what he wants," said Sheriff Estrada. 

The National Guard has been deployed to the border before. In those instances, and in the future, Estrada expects local reaction to be the same. 

"If they come we will obviously welcome them. There will be people that will be concerned about their presence here I'm sure, and there will be people that won't even be phased by the fact that they're here," said Estrada. 

Likewise,  Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels is also preparing for what this might mean for his community. He seems to be waiting for a formal plan, before sharing his opinion on the matter publicly. 

His office posted on Facebook this afternoon saying, “President Trump has the executive power and authority to place the military on the border under national security measures.

"I, as your Sheriff, need to know what the plan is and how it will complement our efforts currently in place regarding border security.

"I have reached out to Governor Ducey to discuss this issue and align our thoughts going forward. The proposed plan is all about security on the border and it needs to be a balanced approach with specific details provided on what this will mean for public safety in Cochise County jurisdictions.

"I consistently reach out to our local, state, and federal partners to work together in fulfilling our mission in providing safety and security, and this will be no different. I look forward to reviewing the proclamation and receiving additional information for this proposal.”

[INFOGRAPHIC: Illegal or 'inadmissible' border crossings by year]


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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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