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Border Residents Call For Cancellation Of Military Deployment

Amy Juan, a member of the Border Communities Coalition, speaks at a press conference calling for the cancelation of the U.S. military deployment to Southern Arizona.
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
Amy Juan, a member of the Border Communities Coalition, speaks at a press conference calling for the cancelation of the U.S. military deployment to Southern Arizona.

A coalition of people from near Arizona’s border with Mexico want the deployment of the U.S. military to the region canceled, and they traveled to the state Capitol to deliver the message to lawmakers.

The group had speakers from Arivaca, Ajo and the Tohono O’odham Nation, who don’t want soldiers in their communities. The border residents also demanded the government protect rights of asylum seekers, and reverse what they say has been an ongoing militarization of the area they call home.

Amy Juan is from Newfield, which is on the Tohono O’odham Nation near the border with Mexico. She doesn’t believe troops will only be used as support for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.   

“In light of the president’s recent comments, it is clear that the intent behind deployment is confrontational,” Juan said.

There are roughly 1,500 troops in Arizona, according to U.S. Northern Command. More soldiers are still available. But it’s unclear if they’ll be sent to California, Texas or Arizona.  

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.