Obama extends National Guard border deployment

Jim Kouri by Jim Kouri on June 19th, 2011

This is article 10 of 63 in the topic Border Issues

The use of the National Guard to backup Border Patrol agents began during the Bush Administration. Credit: DHS/Pat Dollard

In a sudden turnaround, the White House informed members of the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, Obama Administration has decided to extend the deployment of National Guard personnel along the Southwest border for three additional months.

On April 1, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, had sent a letter to President Obama calling for an extension of troops to continue support of the U.S. Border Patrol agents.

“The Obama Administration’s extension of the National Guard deployment is a step in the right direction.  I appreciate that the Administration took our request seriously. But we need to see more and bigger steps in this direction,” said Rep. King, who has been highly critical of the administration’s actions to protect U.S. borders and sovereignty.

“Given the very serious problems to be addressed along the Southwest border, this short three-month extension of a small number of troops is at best a half measure.  The Obama Administration must make securing the border a top priority,” King added.

Some believe Obama’s extension may be linked to the recent critical reports of the Administration’s use of questionable questionable immigration statistics and the brewing scandal over the ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, a/k/a Operation Gunrunner.

“The more people hear about President Obama’s border and immigration policies, they more they become agitated over the lack of seriousness displayed in upholding federal laws and protecting Americans,” said political strategist Mike Baker.

“The decision to extend the National Guard’s presence along the Southwest border is the right one.  They serve as valuable force multipliers for our security operations on the Southwest border and assist Border Patrol Agents with weapons and drugs interdiction and curbing illegal border crossings,” Rep. Miller stated in the letter to the President.

“However, I am concerned that the short duration of the extension does not send the message to the drug cartels that we are serious about securing our border long-term.  Short–term fixes are not an adequate substitute for a well-thought out plan to secure the border.  I continue to call on the President to provide Congress with a comprehensive plan to secure the border,” said Miller.

“Our nation needs a clear roadmap to finally secure our borders, which is why I introduced legislation that directs the Secretary of DHS to develop a strategy for securing the borders within five years,” Miller added.

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