On Tuesday, May 25 President Obama authorized the disbursement of 1,200 National Guard troops across the U.S.-Mexico border all in an effort to aid with border protection and enforcement.
The troops will cover all four southwestern states and support border patrol agents and local law enforcement. Troops will provide intelligence analysis, surveillance and training of additional Customs and Border Protection agents.
On the heels of a U.S. state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderon, President Obama offered to “continue to do what’s necessary to secure our shared border.”
This presidential decision comes in the wake of the new Arizona SB 1070 law, which has created controversy across the country. Arizona’s policy makers have rallied to influence this military strategy. “The White House is doing the right thing,” said Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who called on Obama to deploy the National Guard in March. “Arizonans know that more boots on the ground means a safer and more secure border. Washington heard our message.” Sen. John McCain feels that the number of troops is inadequate. “It’s simply not enough,” he said while in debate on the Senate floor. He went on to describe Arizonans who live in fear of drug violence. “We need 6,000.”
Earlier in the month Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl wrote a letter to Obama urging him to authorize deployment of National Guard troops.