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Posted: 2/26/2006 5:52:15 PM EDT
Bid to put Arizona National Guard troops at border gains momentum
Feb 26, 2006
kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=4553703&nav=HMO6HMaW
At one time, only the staunchest advocates for cracking down on illegal immigration backed the idea of putting National Guard troops along the porous Arizona-Mexico border.

But now the idea that was rejected in the past as being outside the National Guard's responsibilities has the blessings of Arizona's Democratic governor and cleared one half of the Republican-led Legislature.

The public's frustration with Arizona's role as the nation's busiest illegal entry point has breathed new life into the idea, with a recent poll showing that nearly two-thirds of voters favor it.


"It has shifted to the mainstream political debate," said Jennifer Allen, director of the Border Action Network, an immigrant rights group that opposes the idea. "It's disturbing."

Proponents say the National Guard's assistance in federal immigration efforts could help reduce border-related crime and make it more difficult for the tens of thousands of people who try to cross into Arizona illegally each year.

Critics say the National Guard's lack of training in immigration law could lead to racial profiling and that stationing troops at the border could hurt the morale of those who may have already served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Maj. Paul Aguirre, a spokesman for the Arizona National Guard, declined to comment on whether sending troops to the border would hurt recruiting or retention.

"They are ready to go and do whatever the mission calls for," said Master Sgt. Michael Sojourner, president of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Arizona, which hasn't taken a position on the idea.

In the past, the National Guard's involvement at the border has generally been limited to assisting anti-drug efforts, helping federal agents inspect vehicles at ports of entry and building border fences.

About 170 National Guard troops are helping in such efforts in Arizona, where politicians facing re-election races are feeling pressure to confront illegal immigration, even though it's long been considered the sole province of the federal government.

Gov. Janet Napolitano has proposed extending the National Guard's border efforts to have an unspecified number of troops work at crossing points, assist with cargo inspection and operate cameras and mobile observation points so they can report suspicious activity. The troops would likely remain there for several months.

A New Mexico lawmaker proposed a $30 million plan this year for his state's National Guard to help federal authorities secure the border, but the measure never made it out of committee.

Retired Lt. Col. Donald Goldstein, a military historian at the University of Pittsburgh, said he doesn't know of any instance in which a state sent National Guard troops to the border to confront illegal immigration.

Aguirre said the Arizona National Guard hasn't taken a position on the border troops proposal, while a U.S. Border Patrol official declined to comment on it.

The cost of sending troops to the Arizona border hasn't been specified. The governor has asked the military to pick up the tab. Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Department of Defense spokeswoman, declined to comment on the request.

Republican critics question whether Napolitano is serious about sending troops to the border, because they say she gave herself a way to back out by asking the military to pick up the tab.

One of two border troops bills now in the Legislature, a proposal by Republican Rep. John Allen of Scottsdale, would require Napolitano to send troops to the border and put $5 million of state money into that effort.

Napolitano said she's not opposed to using state money for the plan, but pointed to the possible perils of taking that route.

"Once we start using state money, the likelihood of the federal government picking up its fair share goes way down," Napolitano said.

Allen said his proposal, which won approval from the state House and awaits action in the Senate, is meant to hold Napolitano accountable for proposing the idea and serve as a wakeup call for the federal government to lessen the state's immigration problems.

"They would say, 'We actually have a state sending troops,'" Allen said.

Democratic Rep. Tom Prezelski of Tucson, an opponent, said putting the military at the border has produced a bad result in the past. He cited a 1997 case in which an 18-year-old American citizen was fatally shot by a U.S. Marine who was at the border in Texas to help curb drug smuggling.

Tanya Broder, an attorney for the National Immigration Law Center, a nonprofit group that aims to protect the rights of low-income immigrants, said troops would need special training so they can preserve the legal rights of both illegal immigrants and border-area citizens who may be mistaken for illegals.

She added that illegal immigrants who come to the United States to earn a better living won't stop coming if troops are stationed at the border, just as increased enforcement hasn't stopped illegal border crossings in the past.

Advocates for reducing immigration, while welcoming a military presence at the border, also said the idea won't fix all of Arizona's immigration woes.

The government needs to crack down on employers who encourage illicit border crossings by offering jobs to illegal immigrants. The state also must limit government benefits available to immigrants, said Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates limits on immigration.

"Stopping illegal immigration doesn't happen entirely at the border," Mehlman said.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 5:59:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 6:00:24 PM EDT by double_wielder]
Hell yeah!
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:01:43 PM EDT
give it a week, a group of me-hi-cans will cry on the news it isnt fair, and the the NG will be back to doing things less important than border security. although that picture above this post is how i wish the border looked every ten feet
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:01:53 PM EDT

Republican critics question whether Napolitano is serious about sending troops to the border


She is only trying to make bush look bad, she does everything she can for illegals, is that how the AZ Contingent sees it too?
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:03:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:04:28 PM EDT
i dont see how it would hurt morale!

hell, it's ACTIVELY defending your country from a HOSTILE foreign invasion. I'd be happy as hell to go! Put the Air Force on the border, i'll volunteer
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:05:30 PM EDT
AZNG JCNTF they have been there alot.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:05:36 PM EDT
very interesting
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:06:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:06:58 PM EDT
I'm just wondering what they would actually do on the border?

Inspect vehicles entering the US?

Surely they're not going to patrol around on private ranches with fighting vehicles?
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:07:30 PM EDT
maybe Texas will follow the lead.......
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:08:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:

you ever hung out with AF guys when they don't have coffee and air conditioning? it wouldn't be purdy



Hell no man, we get combat pay if either A) the coffee maker breaks, or b0 the AC breaks, so it's all good
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:09:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CRC:
I'm just wondering what they would actually do on the border?

Inspect vehicles entering the US?

Surely they're not going to patrol around on private ranches with fighting vehicles?



If I was a ranch owner, i'd welcome the guard with open arms. I'd rather have the guard cruising around in fighting vehicles than illegals sneaking around at night.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:15:42 PM EDT
This is stupid, I have seen some dumb suggestions, but this is absolutely stupid.

The National Guard, even if they didn't have a WAR to fight right now, is only a PART TIME force and this is a PERMINENT problem. It will exist as long as Mexico is a third world cesspool.

This is just another attempt to paper over the problem, put a few people in uniform out there till everyone quiets down...

What is needed is a perminent Border Guard like Germany and Israel have.

A perminent solution to a perminent problem.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 6:17:19 PM EDT
We have a BORDER PATROL if the Feds let them do their job.

We got one, we just have to take the gloves off.
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 7:32:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 22bad:

Republican critics question whether Napolitano is serious about sending troops to the border


She is only trying to make bush look bad, she does everything she can for illegals, is that how the AZ Contingent sees it too?

pretty much that and pandering to the voters as look im doing something,

of course this is the same bitch who said "dont enforce the law about checking ids to recieve public benifits"

Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:01:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CQToverVmatch:
maybe Texas will follow the lead.......



Perry and Swartzenagger are NOT trying to make bush look bad, they will not do it like AZ and NM did
Link Posted: 2/26/2006 8:03:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2006 8:04:07 PM EDT by 22bad]

Originally Posted By CRC:
I'm just wondering what they would actually do on the border?

Inspect vehicles entering the US?

Surely they're not going to patrol around on private ranches with fighting vehicles?



Hopefully, they WOULD be allowed to "intercede" In situations like the recent one in Hudspeth County
where the mexican military undocumented soldiers "drew down" with .50s on our LEOs while protecting drugs
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