Skip to comments.Arizona border counties may get designated disaster areas, Napolitano says
Posted on 08/15/2005 6:17:17 PM PDT by Graybeard58
PHOENIX - Gov. Janet Napolitano may declare border counties a disaster area, following the lead of her New Mexico counterpart.
Napolitano press aide Jeanine L'Ecuyer said Monday the governor's staff is exploring whether an emergency could be declared based not on a natural disaster but because of the problems of crime, human smuggling and property destruction caused by people crossing the international border.
L'Ecuyer said the basic question involves reviewing the legal grounds for making such a declaration. State law permits the governor to declare an emergency in various instances, including cases of "invasions, hostile attacks, riots or insurrections.''
On Friday, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson used similar authorization to declare a disaster in four border counties. That move freed up $750,000 from that state's emergency fund to help pay overtime for state police and sheriff's deputies, with Richardson also promising to provide another $1 million in discretionary dollars.
Cam Hunter, spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Homeland Security, said this state has $4 million in the fund.
L'Ecuyer said there are a variety of differences between Arizona and New Mexico that might make a disaster declaration here inappropriate. She also said part of the question is whether such a declaration by Napolitano would free up any federal funds.
Pahl Shipley, press aide to Richardson, said his boss is hoping for some federal aid. But Tim Manning, that state's Mexico's homeland security chief, said that would require the state to meet some very specific requirements in federal law.
"It essentially comes down to all available resources at the local and state level have been used,'' he said. Manning said there also is a formula to determine the relative burden of an emergency on the state, computed on a per capita basis.
But Shipley said there also is a political component behind the governor's declaration.
"He is frustrating by the inaction on the federal level and felt like he needed to take action to protect New Mexicans and their property,'' Shipley said. He said Richardson wanted to "send a clear message the governor thought it was an urgent situation.''
The move has had at least some impact: U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said Richardson's declaration is more evidence that Congress needs to act soon to enact a comprehensive temporary worker program along with increased sanctions against employers who hired undocumented workers.
"As Arizonans well know, the federal government's inability to control the border has been a crisis for some time,'' Flake said in a prepared statement. "We cannot afford to wait any longer.''
Flake is a co-sponsor of legislation being pushed by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to set up a new temporary worker program for jobs that require few or no skills. It also seeks unspecified increases in funding for border security.
Manning acknowledged there always has been crime along the border, it appears to have become more frequent - and more violent recently. He said some of that may be due to increased Border Patrol activity in Arizona which is moving some of the problem to the east.
"It's about criminal activity and it's about potential terrorism,'' Manning said. "Our concern right now is for the people down there.''
Yup, the two rat govs along the border going to make it a campaign issue against the republicans. Took them long enough to figure it out.
That says it all doesn't it?
Rush says the Dems are doing this just to make Bush look bad, but he doubts that they 'll do anything about it.
She must be in trouble..
It takes a lot of guts to declare your own state a disaster.
After all these years we have been screaming at the top of our lungs for the pubs to wise up and secure our borders, the RATS have just recovered a fumble and taking it all the way for a touchdown...GRRRRRRR! Damn idiots!
I don't care who and I don't care why, I just want to see it get done. The lives and safety of the people is the most important thing.
And some on FR are helping to perpetuate the big lie.
This was the woman who was against Prop. 200 and took it to court.
I heard the same thing. I agree with Rush also, remeber this is the same group who wants felons to vote. Didn't she come out against prop 200???
And the GOP will repeat the WSJ's open borders mantra digging themselves a hole like Bush the elder's budget deal of 91.
We could use your help here too!
And yes, people are that stupid.
They are going to try and stuff this issue up our rear ends.
If people fall for it it will be too bad. The rats have been grasping at straws and using insane and neurotic spokespeople for months now to no avail.
A drowning man eventually grabs for whatever real thing may save him, this issue is a real thing in the political sense.
Bwaaahahahaha! I almost feel sorry for LULAC. Ignore it, and be outed; or call it "racist", even though it is Dems doing it? Decissions, decissions!
The problem with the Rats, is that they will LIE and never follow thru.
But in the present, I want President Bush to get his head out of the sand, and get serious about this desperate situation.
This time it REALLY is Bush's fault. The public WANTS something done about this problem, but the Republicans won't do anything. Why? This is a textbook case on how to lose the next election. The Dims will run with this issue and win votes.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.