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  1. #1
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    Napolitano to seek disaster relief to police Arizona-Mexico

    Napolitano to seek disaster relief to police Arizona-Mexico border
    By HOWARD FISCHER
    Capitol Media Services
    09/20/2005

    PHOENIX -- Gov. Janet Napolitano is going to seek federal disaster relief aid to help fund additional law enforcement along the state's southern border.

    But a spokesman for the agency that oversees these programs questions whether the expenses that Napolitano wants paid by the federal government really fit the legal definition of an emergency.

    The governor, in a letter to the Federal Emergency Management agency, said Arizona is collecting documentation from state, tribal, county and local governments "to prepare an official request for an Emergency Declaration from the federal government."

    Napolitano's move comes a month after she used her own powers to declare a state emergency in Cochise, Santa Cruz, Pima and Yuma counties. That declaration, coupled with the approval of her Emergency Council, freed up $1.5 million for those counties to seek aid in dealing with the problems of illegal entrants.

    But Cam Hunter, spokeswoman for the state Department of Homeland Security, said those funds already are being earmarked for special projects. That includes overtime pay for police officers working along the border so they can spend more time investigating border-area crimes, specifically drug trafficking, human smuggling, car theft and fraudulent ID cards.

    Russ Knocke, spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said its FEMA division will review any request the state eventually files. But he suggested that the governor's request for federal disaster aid dollars is inappropriate.

    "This is not the intent of the law," said Knocke. He said Congress approved the emergency aid statutes to provide immediate relief from a disaster that already has occurred and where cash is needed to make repairs.


    But gubernatorial press aide Pati Urias said the administration believes that the problem does qualify under federal law for a disaster declaration -- and the dollars that would come with that -- even though it is not a hurricane or other natural disaster.

    "The federal government has lost operational control of the border between Arizona and Mexico," Urias said. "When one state accounts for about half of all the illegal immigrants caught coming to the United States, that's a problem worthy of an emergency declaration." she continued.

    Urias said the problem became exacerbated once federal immigration officers increased enforcement in California and Texas.

    "Arizona became the place to sneak into the country illegally, since the crackdown did not deal with the entire border, only selected portions of it," she said.

    The state's anticipated request -- and FEMA's eventual decision -- will again place the embattled agency in the spotlight. It already is under fire for what many have said its inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina, resulting in the resignation of Michael Brown, its director.

    Hunter said the amount to be sought from Washington will depend on how much the four counties and their law enforcement agencies say they need to combat the problems of border crossers.

    The state had hoped to have that figure compiled by now. But Napolitano said that the efforts to accept evacuees from Hurricane Katrina put the border emergency issue on the back burner.

    Now Napolitano is seeking until the middle of November to file the new federal aid request.

    Napolitano has repeatedly blasted the federal government, saying that the problems caused by illegal border crossing is due to the failure of federal agencies to meet their responsibility to secure the border. That, she wrote to FEMA, has had a "pronounced effect" on border counties.

    "Hundreds of immigrants have died, violent criminal activity has increased," the governor wrote. She also said "repeated trespasses to real property have damaged vegetation, wildlife and livestock."

    The result, said Urias, is that communities along the border have had to bear the brunt of the expense that comes with fighting crime associated with illegal immigration, from vehicle theft to violent human trafficking."

    http://www.azdailysun.com/non_sec/nav_i ... yID=115801
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  2. #2
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    Gov. Janet Napolitano is going to seek federal disaster relief aid to help fund additional law enforcement along the state's southern border.
    I don't trust Gov. Mexicano a bit.
    Stop providing services to illegals and enough will be saved to beef up police.
    http://www.alipac.us Enforce immigration laws!

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