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Gubernatorial candidate Matt Salmon exclusive interview

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Republican Gubernatorial Candidate, Matt Salmon, visited Yuma today, where he announced a new initiative that would serve as the centerpiece of his Arizona border security plan.

Matt Salmon is an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative from Arizona from 1995 to 2001 and again from 2013 until 2017.

Salmon has visited Yuma 15 times and took the time to tour the southern border several of those times, which is why he decided to make “Operation Copper Shield” his plan to secure the border.

“So I’ve introduced a plan called Copper Shield, which would deploy 1,200 armed National Guard at the border to make sure that we tell those people crossing the border that they need to go back to where they came from and if they proceed it’s likely that they’re going to be arrested because we will be having those folks interdict them and then turn them over to the DPS officers or local sheriffs,” said Salmon.

He says he plans to declare a state of emergency, triggering emergency funding for the mission and granting additional powers to the military under his command.

“What I’m proposing is, from day one declare a state of emergency at the border as governor and call a special session of the state legislature and ask for a 200 million dollar appropriation,” said Salmon.

Saying constant and visible presence of military forces would immediately restrict border access in Arizona and could result in criminals halting their drug and human smuggling crimes within the state.

Salmon's Arizona border security plan would rely on cooperation between military units, USBP, county sheriffs' offices, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

“We need to use every tool in our tool belt and stop counting on the federal government to solve the problem. We’ve got to stand up as a state and solve our own problem since the federal government is not going to do it," said Salmon.

With just three months until the Arizona primary election, according to OH Predictive Insights, Salmon currently sits in the 3rd seat for Governor, with Kari Lake currently in first, and Karin Taylor-Robson right behind her in second.

Keep tuning in as election season heats up.

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Samantha Byrd

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