UPDATE 5:49 p.m. (WKOW) — An Illinois Congressman is asking Gov. Evers to “reconsider” his decision to remove troops from the southern border. Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who represents Illinois’ 16th Congressional District, tweeted Monday he learned Evers would be pulling troops from the Arizona border.
Before returning from my Air Guard mission in Tucson this weekend, I learned @GovEvers is pulling Wisconsin Guard forces out of Arizona effective March 3rd.
— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) February 25, 2019
Wisconsin National Guard officials said Rep. Kinzinger is currently a member of the National Guard. The Congressman blasted Evers decision calling it “honorable to stop illegal immigration.”
WKOW reached out to the Kinzinger’s office and have yet to get a response.
CPT Joe Trovato, Wisconsin National Guard Deputy Director of Public Affairs said troops will begin a deliberate withdrawal from along the southwest border in accordance with orders from Governor Tony Evers.
“This deliberate withdrawal is intended to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities and minimize risk to partner agencies, the Arizona National Guard and the general public,” said Trovato in a statement.
MADISON (WKOW) — Gov. Tony Evers today announced the withdrawal of the Wisconsin National Guard, which has been assisting with border patrol efforts at the southwest border.
Approximately 112 Wisconsin National Guard soldiers and airmen are currently serving in Arizona, according to a news release from Evers office.
Evers says there is not enough evidence to support President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border
“Keeping all of our borders safe and crime-free, and protecting immigrants who seek asylum at our borders, many of whom are women and children, is the responsibility of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol,” Evers said.
“There is simply not ample evidence to support the president’s contention that there exists a national security crisis at our southwestern border.
“Therefore, there is no justification for the ongoing presence of Wisconsin National Guard personnel at the border. I cannot support keeping our brave service men and women away from their families without a clear need or purpose that would actively benefit the people of Wisconsin or our nation.”
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) called Evers decision a “political” move.
“Governor Evers’ decision is more about political ideology than anything else,” wrote Vos in a statement. “The troop withdrawal doesn’t save any Wisconsin taxpayer dollars. The operation is federally funded.”
In June, Arizona requested the state’s support in securing its border with Mexico, and former Gov. Scott Walker said Wisconsin troops would work with the Arizona National Guard as it supports the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
In April, President Donald Trump directed the Department of Defense to support the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to secure the nation’s southern border.
Border states — Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas — mobilized forces from their respective National Guards under the Militia Clause of the Constitution to complete the mission, and subsequently began submitting requests for assistance from other states in order to support the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.