An Arizona lawmaker has released a statement saying that the Obama administration will soon deploy up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. The Arizona Daily Star reports:
President Obama has also asked that $500 million be included in supplemental spending legislation to be used to fund more agents, more prosecutors, more technology, and improve information sharing among local, state and tribal law enforcement, said an Obama administration official via email.
The decision is part of the Obama’s overall plan for securing the border, the official said.
The office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., announced the planned deployment this morning in a press release.
The White House has yet to confirm the news, so details remain unclear. But an anonymous administration official told Politico that the troops would "provide intelligence; surveillance and reconnaissance support; intelligence analysis; immediate support to counternarcotics enforcement; and training capacity until Customs and Border Patrol can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border."
Politicians on both sides of the aisle, including Arizona Sen. John McCain, have been calling on the federal government to allocate more resources toward securing the border. The news comes in the wake of several instances of violence by Mexican drug cartels, and just weeks after Arizona implemented a controversial immigration law that many feared would lead to racial profiling. Obama has denounced the measure, calling it "misguided," but the law's proponents have argued that the federal government's inaction forced Arizona lawmakers to take matters into their own hands.