Phoenix, AZ – Jack Harper says more than two dozen other states have provisions
for such militias. He said volunteers could be called out to help
with natural disasters. But Harper said he also wants them
available to help look for illegal immigrants along the border.
And a companion bill actually would require the governor to call
out the militia -- and the National Guard -- once the federally
funded deployment of 524 soldiers ends next year. Gov. Jan Brewer
said she hasn't talked to Harper about the plan. But she was cool
to the idea of having the state take over a federal
responsibility of securing the border, at least in part due to
(It's pretty obvious that the state doesn't have a whole lot of
money. And there's probably no way that we're going to be able to
afford anything like that. I don't know what his intentions are
or how he intends to pay for it.)
Harper said his plan would save money.
(Obviously, we bear the cost of the education, incarceration of
illegal aliens when they come in the state. The health care
community bears the cost when they show up in the emergency room
for the free health care. So the state has a vested interest in
making sure that the border is secure.)
Harper got colleagues to approve a similar plan in 2007 only to
have it vetoed by then Gov. Janet Napolitano who called it
unnecessary. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.