May 25th, 2010
03:12 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama to deploy up to 1,200 more troops to border

ALT TEXT 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.

Filed under: Mexico • President Obama
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Sen. McLame, was your border a problem between 2000 & 2008? Why the outrage now? You've been in Congress for 30 years and haven't raised a finger to fix the problem.

    May 25, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. Pam

    Come on McCain! If it were up to you, you would have made all these people legal. Could your new get tough on immigration actions have anything to do with an upcoming election? No, who would believe that?

    May 25, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Teaneck

    About time!

    May 25, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Susan

    Right McCain and if Obama had deployed a total of 4,200 troops, you would have said you needed 5,000...and so on and so are such a fake McCain, what happened to your support of amnesty back in 2005, you and your buddy W...oh thats right we are supposed to forget because that was a WHOLE 5 YEARS you are hardcore conservative...all these politicians care about are their own asses, they could have two S**ts about their state or their country.

    May 25, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Anthony Beasley

    It's amazing how we never have enough money to do anything unless a Republican needs something. Remember McCain and all the fiscal conservatives, we're broke! How are we going to pay for the troops and the equipment at the border with 2 wars (your party started), a financial collapse (happened on your watch after you said there was too much government regulation), an oil spill (secret meetings with the former Vice President and industry heads who milked the country dry on a war front and now lax regulations), oh and now immigration (pass a law in Arizona you know is unconstitutional- -change it and make it sound like you passed a new law, when you actually took the law back to where it was in the beginning). I was a cop- -the 4th Amendment REQUIRES any government official acting in an official capacity to identify themselves and their reasons for contacting you. So now Arizona passed a new law with an amendment saying- -my bad, do what you were doing before that. And now John McCain says, that's not enough troops or equipment. Where's the money going to come from Fiscal Conservatives? What are you going to cut since we have to cut back? Fire Department, Police, Military, – don't add teachers to that because we have less teachers now than in the last 50 years anyway. If we cut them, we might as well go to homeschooling for everyone.

    May 25, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    Sounds like a token step to me. The SEIU will probably have more people voting for the dead in the next election.

    May 25, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. RAG

    Panamanian John McCain should be worried abouthis OWN immigration status...

    May 25, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Doug

    It's about time he does something. Obama ranks up there as one of the worse presidents EVER.

    May 25, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Perry

    It's never enough for you John McCain. Where do you think the money for this is coming from?

    May 25, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. John Wilson, Racine, WI

    Yes, indeed!

    Ain't it cute?

    I would be very interested in knowing just what these 1,200 more National Guard folks will actually be doing on the border... I suspect giving sandwiches, water, directions to easy crossing points and medical assistance, rides into America and perhaps even information regarding where to obtain work and Illegal Documents.

    [There is o such thing as the PC designation Undocumented Immigrant, only Illegal Aliens with a mountain of forged documents.]

    After all, President Obama recently stated "I am committed to the Mexican People."

    Well, I also suspect that whoever voted him into office wanted him to be committed to the rule of LAW and the AMERICA PEOPLE!

    May 25, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Patrick

    Those troops would be better used in Louisiana right now.

    May 25, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    Not enough, huh?

    And how many did Bush send there?

    May 25, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Ken in NC

    Senator McCain has called for National Guard Troops for the border and now he gets them and he's still not satisfied. Now he says the troops that will be deployed are not enough. Well Senator you should have won the election and then you could put the number of troops down there that you want to do the job.

    Nothing this President does is going to satisfy Republicans. If he doesn't do something, Republicans say he should have. If he does do something, they either say he should not have done it or what he is doing is not enough.

    I say send Senator McCain and the Arizona AG to defend the border at Mexico. If they do not want to do that then let him and the Arizona AG take their marbles and go home.

    May 25, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Sgt. USMC

    It's one step in a long journey.

    We really need to crack down on business owners who make a killing hiring these folks for less than minimum wage. Tax those business owners double and I am sure the money will be there to pay for three times as many troops.

    People look at illegal immigrants as criminals because they don't pay taxes but they fail to realize that the money a business owner would pay a US citizen is about 3 times as much as an illigal immigrant's labor is worth. Those 2/3's of monies are still being taxed because they go into the business owners pocket or capital. Then you have the money the illilegal immigrant will pay at car lots, rent, insurance... etc... which by the way is almost twice as much as a citizen would pay because illegals do not have credit. Also, the apartments which illegals rent are not up to standards with the rest of us citizens. No one here would pay the money they do to live in these dumps. There goes a rich tenant buying a brand new F350 off an illegal's sweat blood and tears. The money which is sent back to other countries is only to help relatives move here. That increases the "cheap labor" force which accounts for the big profits these ranchers are making despite low sales. All of this money is being produced off the sweat of someone's back trying to find a better life for their family. Anyone of you a-h's who speak without heart would do the same or you're just a quitter.

    I think the real threat to those who hate these people is not the green faces they are making doing the job most Americans wouldn't do. I think it's the illegal's brown faces you all have a problem with. Although some of your frustrations may have something to do with the crime that drugs bring into this country through our borders, the same drugs your kids are buying keeping cartels financed.

    Tax businesses who hire illegals and get your stupid kids off of drugs (quit blaming movies and music) and we may have safer borders.

    May 25, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. Sgt. USMC

    Send more troops to the US-Canada border where the 9/11 hi-jackers came through!

    May 25, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Americans are funny

    But but but u wish for smaller govt and less govt intervention............ U want to make up ur mind?

    May 25, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. sonny chapman

    Why are we not surprised that McCain said "not enough" to what the Prez offered to do? Mr. "Country First" is sure turning into a partisan maniac.

    May 25, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Sick in Florida

    McCrazy needs to go sit his ancient behind down somewhere! If the president sent 3000 he would ask for 3001. To think that I would have voted for him in 2000 makes me wanna puke!

    May 25, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. streetsmart

    At last a US President gets it! We need to stop the Influx of illegal aliens from Mexico at the border. The ONLY way to do that is to beef up the security down there. It doesnt matter how stringent you make the illegal immigrant laws across the country if you cant stop the flow at he source. If a few get thru and are captured then remove their socks and shoes and make them walk back into Mexico. By the time they get back home the last thing they will ever do is try to sneak back across into the US. Its time to get tough.

    May 25, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. dax

    If would have put a million troops McShame and his dogs would be barking about something else.
    Among the other accolades I have for President Obama, I have to give him the highest markets for being thick skinned and resilient. He's the first present, I've seen, who cares enough for this country to swim with these chummed up mindless sharks knowing he will gain NO political goodwill.
    You can't tame a shark. It’s concerned with two things eating and self preservation.

    May 25, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Ron in California

    It's about time. Must be an election coming up.

    May 25, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Jerry

    Unless they have guns and orders to shoot why bother, I think we should enact the same laws Mexico has.

    May 25, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. ray cambron

    now make it illegal to hire illegal jail time for upper level mgr. the same for union leaders they wont come if there is no work pass e verify

    May 25, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. stevegee

    If Obama had his way they'd be handing out Welcome Kits ...

    It's time to close the borders, and throw out all the illegal aliens including their children. The U.S.A. is our country, not a free-for-all for the rest of the world.

    May 25, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. NC

    Politics as usual by McCain. McCain has been a Senator in AZ. forever it seems, why has he done nothing for his state. Why was nothing done before President Obama took office. This problem did not happen overnight. Quite frankly I'm tired of a few states using all of the country's resources. I thought this was one of the states that wants government out of their lives. How is this being paid for?

    May 25, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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