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Gov. Ducey Addresses National Guard Border Deployment

With national guard soldiers in uniform standing at attention to his left and right, Ducey said the operation would not militarize the border and said he wanted to see the operation for himself.

"With Operation Guardian Shield underway, more members of the Arizona National Guard have joined them to provide much needed support for these security efforts. I have no doubt they will be an asset to the operation taking place here," Ducey said.

Chief Border Patrol agent Rodolfo Karisch said the National Guard will primarily help the Border Patrol with road maintenance projects, aerial support and help with camera systems monitoring the border.

"That will ultimately allow us to get back to doing law enforcement work."

Karisch said that in Arizona the number of apprehensions has climbed just as they have across much of the border.

Records provided by the Border Patrol show that agents in the Tucson and Yuma sectors of the border patrol apprehended about 7,700 people in March this year compared to about half of that last March after President Donald Trump took office. In fact, numbers now more closely resemble the number of apprehensions that occurred in previous years.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.