Phoenix, AZ – Martin noted that both current Gov. Jan Brewer and predecessor
Janet Napolitano have asked for an increased presence of Guard
troops. But with the exception of a short-term deployment, the
federal government has been unwilling to go along. Martin
acknowledged that what he wants amounts to having state taxpayers
pick up the tab for the failure of the federal government. But he
said it would pay off long term.
(Illegal immigration, not securing the border, has a lot of
intrinsic costs to the state. It could be in the billions of
dollars. I've always said we need to put state deployment of the
Guard on the border. That's something that I sponsored six years
ago. I had legislation that was vetoed by Napolitano.)
Martin said the situation has only gotten worse since then. He
said that, at the very least, armed soldiers will be a deterrent,
especially to drug smugglers.
(They're not worried about a rancher, they're not worried about
the Minutemen. They're not worried about the Border Patrol to
some degree. They shoot and have taken shots at them. You've got
some National Guard folks that actually have proven their worth
in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's going to give that drug dealer a
Martin's stance puts him at direct odds with Brewer, one of his
GOP primary foes, who has said it's not fair to have state
taxpayers pay for a federal responsibility. For Arizona Public
Radio this is Howard Fischer.