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After border tour, Brewer urges Obama administration to send troops

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson address reporters after touring the border in Cochise County. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Griselda Nevarez)

Touring an area where a rancher was killed, a crime investigators suspect was committed by someone in the country illegally, Gov. Jan Brewer and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson called Wednesday for the Obama administration to do more to secure the border.

“Given the murder that just recently took place down here, I think it’s incumbent upon the federal government to respond,” Brewer said after an aerial tour of the border in southeastern Arizona.

“We had our eyes opened by the very strong presence of cartels and drug smuggling that is taking place in New Mexico and Arizona, and we need to work together to fight this traffic,” said Richardson, adding that he was surprised by the damaged landscapes and garbage left by border crossers.

Both governors called for more National Guard troops along the border after the tour, which followed the murder in late March of Cochise County rancher Robert Krentz. Investigators suspect the shooter fled into Mexico.

Brewer said she has asked the administration to send 250 National Guard troops to bolster the 150 already stationed along Arizona’s border with Mexico. She said the state lacks the funds to station National Guard troops at the border long-term.

“We need a more permanent solution,” she said.

Charles Selph, an Army National Guard chief warrant officer who tracks illegal immigrants crossing the border, said the area needs more troops.

“The border fence helps, but it’s not going to fix the whole thing,” he said. “We still need troops out there,” Selph said.

Gov. Jan Brewer speaks with members of the military and the U.S. Border Patrol after an aerial tour of the border in Cochise County. (Cronkite News Service Photo by Griselda Nevarez)

Jennifer Allen, executive director for the Tucson-based Border Action Network, a group supporting immigrants’ rights, said sending more troops to the border isn’t the solution.

“We already have enough resources at the border,” she said in a telephone interview. “We just need to focus them on those who intend harm to the country.”

Ann English, a Cochise County supervisor who lives in the Douglas area, said she’s concerned about the rise in home invasion and other crimes attributed to those crossing the border.

“In the past, I left doors unlocked or left the windows open,” she said. “Now I always make sure that the doors are locked, and I don’t walk out to the barn at night unless I absolutely have to.”

5 comments

  1. Why after all these years do our Governors have to ask for the Federal Government to do the Job they should be doing first and foremost?

    Jennifer Allen, executive director for the Tucson-based Border Action Network, a group supporting immigrants’ rights, said sending more troops to the border isn’t the solution.

    I believe it is time for Anti-American illegal activity supporters to leave the country as well! SEND MORE TROOPS ARMED AND MEANING BUSINESS – GIVE THEM BIG FEROCIOUS DOGS…

  2. “I believe it is time for Anti-American illegal activity supporters to leave the country as well! SEND MORE TROOPS ARMED AND MEANING BUSINESS – GIVE THEM BIG FEROCIOUS DOGS…”

    While I agree that more needs to be done to seal the border, after which we can begin discussing the legal status of those already here, I find your statement above pretty funny.

    Anti-American eh? I am 99% sure that her right to believe and work in the way she is is guarenteed by the Constitution. Your statement seems more unamerican than hers. America is all about a mixing of ideas, beliefs, political stands, and approaches. Respectful disagreement is fine, but when you begin making statements like you did above, you come off in complete opposition to what this country was founded on.

  3. Yes. please send the troops and have them remove the Gov and the kookocracy at the legislature before they completely destroy what was once a nice state in which to live.

  4. Nate,
    SEND MORE TROOPS ARMED AND MEANING BUSINESS – GIVE THEM BIG FEROCIOUS DOGS…”

    While I agree that more needs to be done to seal the border, after which we can begin discussing the legal status of those already here.

    I agree with the armed troops, I believe that it is time to send some back in body bags, and there is no such thing as talking about the ones that are already here. They came in illegally, they are illegal, and Nothing you do is going to make them legal.

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