Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D., Ariz.) has said the president will soon announce the deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, along with $500 million in new spending for extra border security and law enforcement, as part of a new effort to quell violence in the border region.
In a statement announcing the move, Giffords said “[t]he White House is doing the right thing.”
“Arizonans know that more boots on the ground means a safer and more secure border. Washington heard our message.”
Arizona legislators from both parties have called for an increased federal presence on the border. Last month, Sen. John McCain (R.) called for 3,000 guardsmen and 3,000 new border patrol officers.
UPDATE: ABC News’s Sunlen Miller has more details from an anonymous White House official. The troops, it seems, are designed as a temporary fix until the ranks of Border Patrol agents can be expanded.
The enhanced border protection and law enforcement will, “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,” an administration official says.
The official added that, “funds will be utilized to enhance technology at the border, share information and support with State, Local, and Tribal law enforcement, and increase DOJ and DHS presence and law enforcement activities at the border, to include increased agents, investigators, and prosecutors, as part of a multi-layered effort to target illicit networks trafficking in people, drugs, illegal weapons, and money.”