Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, claiming to "reject" the Obama administration's assertion that the border is more secure than ever, announced Monday that she's directing $10 million in federal stimulus dollars to tackle smuggling and illegal immigration.
On the same day the administration announced its plan to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the southwestern states, Brewer said she's sending the pot of stimulus money to more than a dozen border cities and counties -- as well as several tribes and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
She said the grant money would be targeted toward fighting drug trafficking, illegal immigration and human smuggling.
"Since the federal government continues to announce inadequate plans and place new warning signs on federal lands in Arizona, we are forced to do what we can locally to act on safety and security until the Congress and the administration act," she said in a statement. Brewer has said the National Guard deployment, which is directing more than 500 troops to her state alone, is not enough to handle the problem.
The border security stimulus money comes out of the stimulus package's State Fiscal Stabilization Fund. Though most of that money is intended to go toward education, states are allowed to use a small percentage toward public safety and "other government services." Brewer claimed in her statement that she was using her "discretionary" money pile to fight illegal immigration.
The grant money in Arizona will be active until September 2011. The money is primarily meant for paying law enforcement training costs and overtime, as well as travel costs and other expenses, and for bringing on new police officers and part-time personnel. The grant also can be used to buy certain equipment, like vehicles built for the "harsh environment" along the border and communications equipment.
The recipients include Yuma County, Santa Cruz County, Pima County, Cochise County, as well as the cities and towns of Benson, Bisbee, Yuma, Douglas, Nogales, Patagonia, Sahuarita, San Luis and Somerton.