Skip to Content

Local Democratic legislators not included in Gov. Ducey’s visit


CBS 13's April Hettinger and News 11's Adonis Albright hear from local leaders who didn't get an invitation

SAN LUIS, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Some local Democratic lawmakers have mixed reactions to getting left out of efforts to control the crisis along the border.

Governor Doug Ducey (R - Ariz.) paid a visit to the border wall in Yuma County on Wednesday, one day after he issued a Declaration of Emergency.

But some Democratic leaders are frustrated they did not receive an invitation.

Rep. Charlene Fernandez (D - Ariz.) feels this visit was just a "photo op".

The congresswoman says as the leader who serves south county, she feels it is her responsibility to be included in efforts to minimize what she calls a "humanitarian crisis."

Although she is not against the deployment of the National Guard to the southern border, she is not sure what their duties will be since they are not allowed to detain or apprehend any immigrants.

Arizona State Senator Lisa Otondo (D - Ariz.) is also sounding off about not getting invited, despite the situation happening in her own backyard.

"I live in Yuma, and I know that there are many people concerned with that's happening… I was extremely disappointed to see such partisan politics happening in my district on a situation that affects my district deeply", said Sen. Otondo.

And, other members of Yuma County area got an invite.

"I find it really frustrating that Legislative District 13, all three members are sitting at the table, and of the three of us, the two legislatures in District 4 were left out," Sen. Otondo explained.

The Governor was joined by other Republican leaders like Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, Rep. Tim Dunn, Rep. Joanne Osborne and Rep. Joel John.

Both legislators are in favor of the National Guard troops being deployed to our area if U.S. Border Patrol does need the help.

Arizona State Congressman Raul Grijalva (D - Ariz.) issued a statement on Wednesday, condemning Gov. Ducey's emergency declaration. He strongly disagrees with the decision to deploy the National Guard to the southern border.

“It’s a disgrace that Gov. Ducey continues to militarize our borderlands. We must stop meeting asylum-seeking children and families with guns and troops and instead, direct all resources needed at the border to localities and nongovernmental organizations to adequately assist asylum seekers. This troop deployment is purely political and does nothing to address the issues at hand. It will not solve the backlogs, will not improve the care of unaccompanied minors and will not help border communities. Gov. Ducey should work with the Biden Administration to better manage the border instead of resorting to useless political posturing that only further militarizes border communities."

- Rep. Raul Grijalva (D - Ariz.)

State Representative Tim Dunn (R - Ariz.) was notably the only local lawmaker in south county who was invited to the Governor's visit to the Yuma border. He is commending Gov. Ducey for taking action where he claims the federal government failed to step in.

The Governor's declaration is also garnering the support of Arizona's Democratic Senators on Capitol Hill. Senators Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema issued a joint statement on Wednesday, calling on the federal government to reimburse the state of Arizona for the deployment of the National Guard.

In part, the lawmakers say: "This need for a secure and orderly process at the U.S. southern border should not fall on the state of Arizona or Arizona border communities."

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

Author Profile Photo

Adonis Albright

Adonis Albright anchors the News 11 shows at 5 PM, 6 PM, and 10 PM.

If you have a great story idea, you can reach him at


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content