In Response to Border Worries, Obama Sends 1,200 Troops to US-Mexico Border

The president is attempting to boost border protection along the U.S. southern border.

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In an effort to bolster border protection, President Obama has sent 1,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico line.

Under pressure to take action, President Barack Obama on Tuesday ordered 1,200 National Guard troops to boost security along the U.S.-Mexico border, pre-empting Republican efforts to force a congressional vote to send the troops.

Obama will also request $500 million for border protection and law enforcement activities, according to lawmakers and administration officials.


The president's action comes as chances for comprehensive immigration reform, Obama's long-stated goal, look increasingly dim in this election year. Obama has been all but compelled to do something since Arizona's passage of a tough illegal-immigration law thrust the border problem into the public spotlight.

Indeed, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer credited her signing of the controversial new law for compelling Obama to act. Signing the law, Brewer said in a statement, "clearly ignited the talk of action in Washington for the people of Arizona and other border states."

The National Guard troops will work on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, analysis and training, and support efforts to block drug trafficking. They will temporarily supplement Border Patrol agents until Customs and Border Protection can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border, according to a letter Tuesday from top administration security officials to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich.

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