AZ Gov To Obama: How About Some Helicopters And Drones For The Border?

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May 25, 2010 11:52 a.m.
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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) is going all in.

Brewer, who deliberated for several days before signing Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, has now written a letter to President Obama asking for unmanned drones to patrol the Arizona-Mexico border.Brewer has lost any hesitations she may have once had about aggressive border security. (A bump in the polls since signing that law can’t have hurt.) And in her letter, she compares the needs of U.S. border states to those of the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I would also ask you, as overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan permit, to consider wider deployment of UAVs [Unmanned Aerial Vehicles] along our nation’s southern border. I am aware of how effective these assets have become in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, and it seems UAVs operations would be ideal for border security and counter-drug missions.

Brewer’s letter suggests Obama relocate National Guard helicopters in other states to Arizona. “I believe that there are legitimate interests in my request to beef up aviation assets,” Brewer wrote. Ideally, Brewer says, Arizona would have a fleet of eight to ten OH-58 helicopters equipped for day and night operations, allowing the state to “double our border coverage to 2,000 hours a day.”

In an appearance on Fox News earlier today, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) expressed support for Brewer’s call, saying drones, helicopters and other infrastructure were prerequisites to a discussion of immigration reform.

“We need to start with border security — which means more boots on the ground, we need the technology, the airplanes, the drones, the helicopters,” Cornyn said.

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