Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey: Trade With Mexico Is Important, ‘But Border Security Comes First’

Melanie Arter | April 3, 2019 | 7:08pm EDT
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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (Screenshot)

( - Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) visited the White House Wednesday to talk about the border crisis and told the president that nonprofit organizations in his state are “reaching the breaking point.”

“I just had a positive meeting with President Trump talking about the crisis on our southern border. As a border governor, we see this clearer than nearly anywhere of what’s happening from both a humanitarian standpoint and a security standpoint on our border,” Ducey told reporters.


“Our nonprofits are overwhelmed and reaching the breaking point, and with summer coming very soon in Arizona and the temperatures rising, I’m concerned that any migrant that crosses the border can be in real danger,” he said.


Ducey urged Congress to take up the issue.

“So it’s for Congress to act on this issue. There are resources that are needed, and the border needs security measures. I’m talking about a wall, a physical barrier, boots on the ground, technology, and surveillance, but resources not only for border security but also for the nonprofits along with whatever changes are needed and necessary in the law so that these incentives don’t remain for people to come across the border unnecessarily,” he said.

When asked whether Trump gave him any assurances that he would either not go to the border or that if he did, he would still allow trade, Ducey said, “I think the president is going to keep all of his options on the table. He’s the commander-in-chief. I have a view from Arizona’s perspective. He’s got a universal view, and of course is working with Secretary Nielsen as well, but that final decision’s going to be his.”

Ducey said he told the president about Arizona’s situation on the border, “where our nonprofits were, how we needed help, and we needed Congress to act.”

“I understand that Mexico’s done some positive things today to help with the migration, so I think like I said the option remains on the table,” the governor said.

Ducey said he would be supportive of the president closing the border and wants it to be “as short as possible.”

“I don’t see any reason why that should have to happen when all Congress needs to do is act on something that I think everyone - Democrat and Republican knows is a real issue. The other issue I wanted to talk to the president about was the USMC,” he said, referring to the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

“I think that our trade with Mexico is incredibly important, but border security comes first. We’ve both in Arizona. We’ve had our Border Strike Force, and we’ve increased our trade with Mexico. It’s over $16 billion and up 7.7 percent. There’s no reason you can’t do both. Arizona’s done it, and now the United States Congress can do it,” Ducey said.


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