FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., is calling for the deployment of Arizona’s National Guard to the southern border to help authorities deal with a surge in migrants to the Tucson Sector.
Fox News reported on Thursday that the border has seen 9,400+ encounters in a 24-hour period. Border Patrol apprehended around 7,700 of those, led by the Tucson Sector with almost 3,000 encounters.
"Tucson Sector is leading in encounters and our agents and officers are overrun and undermanned," Ciscomani says in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. "The situation is far past a breaking point and those on the frontlines of this crisis are in need of immediate support."
DOUGLAS, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 03: U.S.Border Patrol agents take an immigrant from Mexico into custody after pursuing and capturing him near the U.S.-Mexico border on November 03, 2022 near Douglas, Arizona. ( (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images))
Ciscomani calls on Mayorkas to "immediately request that the Department of Defense deploy the Arizona National Guard to help with this dire situation."
While the state government can also deploy the state’s National Guard, that would be at Arizona’s expense, while a move by DHS and the Pentagon would mean the federal government would bear the expense.
The Biden administration deployed troops to the border in the Spring in anticipation of a surge of migration when the Title 42 public health order ended in May. Meanwhile, a number of other states also deployed personnel -- including the National Guard -- to the border.
Numbers border-wide increased over the summer, bringing FY 23 to a new record for encounters. September marked a monthly record in encounters, and numbers dipped in October, but the new surge has again raised concerns at a time of year where encounters typically slow down.
CBP has been surging resources and personnel to the Tucson Sector -- which typically sees less traffic than other sectors like the Rio Grande Valley-- and has been focusing on transporting migrants laterally to other parts of the border combined with a greater use of expedited removal as an alternative to them being released into the U.S. The Biden administration has promised to increase the use of the authority -- and has requested resources to do so as part of its $14 billion supplemental request to Congress for border operations, including staffing and non-custodial housing.
The Biden administration has said it is dealing with a Hemisphere-wide crisis and needs Congress to act to provide more funding for the border processes, while also calling on Republicans to support a comprehensive immigration bill it unveiled on day one of the administration.
Republicans have rejected that legislation, and instead introduced a bill of their own which would increase border security funding while increasing limits on asylum and the use of humanitarian parole. Republicans have blamed the ongoing crisis on the policies of the administration -- including its rollback of Trump-era policies.
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"Our CBP agents and officers continue to be undermanned and overrun at every turn of the border crisis," Ciscomani said in a statement to Fox News Digital. "The Biden administration must take action to fix this crisis of their own creation and the best way to start is by providing CBP with the support they deserve. By immediately deploying the National Guard in Arizona, we provide the men and women charged with securing our border the much-needed reinforcement to do their jobs."’
Fox News' Bill Melugin contributed to this report.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, primarily covering immigration and border security.