A barbed wire fence in Arizona stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama will deploy up to 1,200 more National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, an administration official told CNN on Tuesday.
In addition, Obama will request $500 million to supplement current spending for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities, the official said.
The National Guard troops will help with drug enforcement efforts and intelligence efforts until Customs and Border Protection can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border, the official said.
The news followed Obama's lunch meeting with Senate Republicans, where Sen. John McCain of Arizona raised the issue of increased border security. McCain and fellow Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, as well as Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, have called for Obama to send more troops to the border region.
"It's simply not enough," McCain said Tuesday on the Senate floor. He called for 3,000 more National Guard troops just for the Arizona-Mexico border.
Giffords, who had called for the National Guard's deployment immediately after the March 27 murder of Cochise County rancher Rob Krentz, said Obama's step was "the right thing."
"Arizonans know that more boots on the ground means a safer and more secure border," Giffords said in a written statement. "Washington heard our message."
A previous troop deployment to the border region, called Operation Jump Start, ended in 2008. The operation sent more than 6,000 troops to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to repair secondary border fence, construct nearly 1,000 metal barriers and fly Border Patrol agents by helicopter to intercept illegal immigrants.
He waited, of course, for Arizona to force his hand and the results of polling showing 70% of Americans support the law.
It's called a "presidency by inertia"... Obama goes in the direction he was last pushed.
Took long enough...
Janet (ex gov AZ) has been a fed level over a year and now they recognize a problem... lol... sad
What are the "liberals" going to say now? Obama is acting more and more like a Republican each and every day.
This will not stop Republicans from running to the microphones. They hate Obama – they could care less what he does. He's black and they feel threatened that minorities are making too many gains.
Wasn't it just a couple weeks ago that Obama or his minions said this would be an inapprorpiate use of troops? Not to mention that troops cannot enforce the law. Possibly an invasion of Mexico in the wings as the start of his new world order?
And how about fining companies that hire illegals?
Was this cleared by Calderon?
Really??? Now President Obama is taking action, after those poor people from Arizona had to take matters into their own hands to protect themselves, protect our country. I'm a U.S. Citizen and I went through the proper channels to be here legally, I don't see why everyone else is excempt from the law that I had to abide by.
McCain wants a domestic war he can call his own. Poor little puppet-like wannabe hero. An inept pilot that cost the US $$$$$ for the planes he crashed.
Give it up McSongbird. It's over for you.
Well, its about time! Something has to be done and Arizona cannot do it alone!!
Heck yeah! Take some of the lollygaggers who are inspecting vehicles LEAVING the US for Canada and make them actually work stopping illegals from ENTERING the US from Mexico!!!
NOTE Up to 1200. Knowing nobumby, he will probably send 10 and then say he quadrupled the number of agents. The trick is how soon will he send the few he will send. Anyone who hates this country the way he does, I guess he will wait as long as possible.
Thats are President, allways reacting instead of being proactive. Unless its a bad HC Bill or stimulus bill (opps that was reacting too)
Oh well its about time we protected our boarders better and all of you that were complaining about Arizona should be thanking them now for opening up Odumbo's eye's. Cant beleive he is the president.
I hope they are going to California and NOT Arizona.
The President can't say that but I can so I hope he lives vicariously through me.
Arizona can complete "the DANG FENCE" since they are a Republican run state and all those Conservatives don't like "big government" so they couldn't possibly want to tap federal resources.
Finally, Mr. Kyl and Mr. McCain .... you are the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT so get off your butts, stop blaming the Government and get around to solving the problem. You don't get a Pass.
OK... It's a small start I guess. So just what will they be tasked to do? Count the people flooding over? Can they detain people? Will they not be allowed to stop people for fear of racial profiling???
1200 MORE troops... Did you clowns in Arizona hear that?
Now who said Governor Brewer did the wrong thing signing that bill? Someone had to light a fire under Obama!
1200 troops won't be able to do much along almost 2000 miles of border, but it's a start.
So that adds up to maybe 4 people per mile between Texas and California the math dont add up to enough and then comes the question of there orders do they lean on a fence post and do nothing or do they get involved .
the pigs on the right will continue 2 hate the president!
Being from Tucson & wishing I had never left to find a teaching job in NV,, I can only look at my beloved Arizona, my alma mater at the U of A and say, " I never, ever dreamed that the warm and loving Hispanics there would be subjected to this "white man from Phoenix" racism! Between the fences, the boycotts, the wonderful Mexican people who welcomed in all races, even though their families had been there for centuries.....well, it just looks more and more like E.Berlin with the wall and now, troops to fire on who? Poverty stricken S. Mexicans and Central Americans hoping to cross the border in search of jobs and money to support their families? This is a crime against the very nature of the beautiful and "used to be welcoming" Sonoran and its people. I am ashamed....I am ashamed,....and I won't go to somewhere that looks & acts like the Communists of East Germany. It's an outrage!!!
Seems we have a more pressing problem in the Gulf of Mexico with all the oil contamination. Why not send the troops there instead. I live in NM, a border state between TX and AZ. Don't think this is a good use of our troops. Let McCain and Kyl go down their to patrol.
thats going to stop the problem stop these companies from hiring
these people and they won't be crossing the border but I guess
McCain won't have anybody supporting him issue
This is more evidence that Obama just wants to throw borrowed money at every problem. Only comprehensive immigration reform will help solve the immigration problem. Throwing money down the black hole of enforcement will never be effective.
Finally! I have NO problems with troops along the border. Send them to Cali, Texas, New Mexico, and else where.
Looks like Arizona Gov. Brewer, McCain and Kyl are left in a position of what to do about their profiling immigration law. The only thing McCain can say to cover his you know what is "we need more troops".