Obama To Send 1,200 National Guard Troops To Mexican Border
May 26, 2010 By Alison Bowen
More than a thousand troops will soon travel to the Southwest, assigned to bolster border protection.
President Barack Obama’s pledge to move 1,200 National Guard troops comes after criticism of the federal government’s commitment to border control.
The promise of more troops was accompanied by a request for $500 million to secure the border, Reuters reported.
In a press release, Mississippi Representative Bennie G. Thompson, chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Homeland Security, said he supported the plan and wanted to hear more.
“The increasing drug trafficking and violence occurring along the Southwest border must be confronted,” he said.
Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords lauded the decision, saying it showed the administration was taking border security seriously.
“Arizonans know that more boots on the ground means a safer and more secure border,” she said in a press release.
The troops will support officers stationed there, monitoring traffic and observing trafficking patterns, according to The New York Times.
Arizona recently passed a strict law requiring people to carry paperwork proving their immigration status. Officials there said they were forced to tackle immigration themselves after federal inaction.
Individual activists and city governments have boycotted the state, saying the law encourages racial profiling and infringes on civil rights.
Cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and St. Paul, Minn., have prohibited government travel to the state.
The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) reported today that the boycott is beginning to take a toll on local businesses.
The Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association stopped keeping track off all the people calling to cancel conventions, the CSM reported.
Tuesday in Detroit, State Representative Rashida Tlaib proposed cutting economic ties with Arizona, according to the Detroit Free Press. Tlaib also promised to introduce a resolution asking Arizona to repeal the law.
And in New York, 37 people were arrested Monday in an effort by the New York Immigration Coalition to draw attention to immigration reform through civil disobedience. For the second Monday in a row, protesters linked arms and blocked traffic after a downtown rally. Speakers asked the Obama administration to enact immigration reform and repeal the Arizona law.
Image: Jurvetson @ Flickr.
About Alison Bowen
Alison is a Missouri native and New York City freelance writer who has wanted to cover Latin America since studying Spanish in Central America. After moving to Brooklyn, her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Daily News, the Manhattan Times and Women’s eNews. She earned a master’s degree in journalism and Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University. Her thesis focused on immigration policies after September 11, including counterterrorism measures, and their effects on the daily lives of immigrants in New York City.