Will Obama’s 1,200 Border Troops Matter?

By David Schoetz

May 25, 2010 5:13pm

With a shrill debate over Arizona's controversial immigration law as a backdrop and a week after a visit from Mexican President Felipe Calderon, President Obama has authorized the call-up of 1,200 National Guard troops to assist in border protection along Mexico. The president, who alone cannot formally authorize deployment activities there, is expected to request $500 million in supplemental funds from Congress to financially support the military assistance. Among their duties would be intelligence work to help Customs and Border Protection Agents crack down on "illegal trafficking organizations," according to one official. The early reaction to the afternoon news flash has been mixed. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said that 1,200 troops is "simply not enough" to stem the drug and human trades that have made the border regions dangerous places. McCain has proposed at least 6,000 troops. Embedded below is a report from Terry Moran last April about the bloody battles in the border city of Juarez.

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