U.S. National Guard Troops along the U.S.-Mexico border
"The Bush administration promised to put 2,500 Guardsmen on the Mexican border by the end of June , and 6,000 by the end of July, and June is gone and fewer than a thousand Guardsmen are in place," Wesley Pruden reported in the June 30, 2006, Washington Times.
President George W. Bush "asked the 50 states to send troops but so far only 10 have agreed," Pruden wrote. "'It's not a combat priority,' says Kristine Munn, a spokeswoman at the National Guard Bureau in Washington. 'It's a volunteer mission, so it's a question of balancing the needs of the Border Patrol with the needs of 54 states and territories, and all the balls roll in different directions.'
"The states that have signed agreements with the four border states will send tired troops, and several governors, who command the Guard when it is not on federal service, have found excuses to keep their troops at home. Governors in the Atlantic states plead flood duty, in the West forest fires, and in the South hurricane relief," Pruden wrote.
Calling Up the Troops
In his speech on "Comprehensive Immigration Reform", Bush said:
- "The border should be open to trade and lawful immigration and shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers and terrorists.
- "… Training thousands of new Border Patrol agents and bringing the most advanced technology to the border will take time. Yet the need to secure our border is urgent. So I am announcing several immediate steps to strengthen border enforcement during this period of transition:
- "One way to help during this transition is to use the National Guard. So in coordination with governors, up to 6,000 Guard members will be deployed to our southern border."
Although the stated purpose is for military reservists to "temporarily assist border control agents while new agents are hired and trained," Mexican President Vicente Fox "opposes the deployment" and called President Bush on May 14, 2006, to "express his concerns about a 'militarized' border." 
- News Release: "President Bush Addresses the Nation on Immigration Reform," White House, The Oval Office, May 15, 2006.
- Fact Sheet: "Fact Sheet: Overview: Comprehensive Immigration Reform," White House, May 15, 2006.
- Overview: "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," White House, May 15, 2006.
Bush Immigration Speech: Excerpts & Quotes
- "Seeking a 'Secure, Orderly and Fair' Path," Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2006. Excerpts from Bush's speech.
- "Bush immigration speech: Key quotes" and "In quotes: Immigration reform reaction," BBC, May 16, 2006.
Some Immediate Reactions to the Bush Plan
- John W. Gonzalez and Clay Robison, Texas National Guard: "State says troops can juggle border with other duties. Units expected to still provide disaster recovery," Houston Chronicle, May 15, 2006.
- Bill Nichols, "Governors of border states split on president's security strategy," USA Today, May 15, 2006.
- Mike Sunnucks, "Grijalva: Bush following Iraq playbook on border front," Business Journal of Phoenix (AZ), May 16, 2006.
- "Congress Debates Bush Immigration Plan. Senate Dems Pledge Cooperation, But Differ With House GOP," CBS News/Associated Press, May 16, 2006.
- Justin Rood, "Chertoff: National Guard on the Border Would Be 'Horribly Over-Expensive and Very Difficult'," TPM Muckraker, May 16, 2006. re Michael Chertoff, Director, Department of Homeland Security
- Mark Martin, "Governor asks: Who pays for Guard on border? Schwarzenegger says he'll cooperate with Bush plan but has questions, reservations," San Francisco Chronicle, May 17, 2006.
- Robert Burns, "Update 1: Rumsfeld Defends Guard's Use on Border," Associated Press (Forbes), May 17, 2006.
- Marina Montemayor, "Mexicans Say Guard Won't Slow Migrants," Associated Press (Washington Post), May 15, 2006.
- "Mexico alarm at Bush border plan," BBC, May 15, 2006.
- Peter Baker, "Bush's migration shock troops rattle Mexico," Sydney Morning Herald, May 16, 2006.
- Hugh Dellios, "Mexicans irritated by Bush's plan for border troops," Chicago Tribune (Seattle Times), May 16, 2006.
- Will Weissert, "Mexico Threatens Suits Over Guard Patrols," Associated Press (Guardian Unlimited (UK)), May 17, 2006.
- Jeremy Schwartz, "Stand-off over Mexico border patrol," Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), May 18, 2006.
- Geri Smith, "Bush Plan Provokes Mexico's Ire," BusinessWeek Online, May 17, 2006.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Border Research and Technology Center
- Department of Homeland Security
- Homeland defense
- homeland detention
- Homeland security
- illegal alien
- illegal immigration
- Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
- immigration reform
- Minuteman Project
- qualified alien
- ""White House Defends Border Plan. Aide Says Use Of National Guard Is Not 'A Militarization Of The Borders'," CBS News / Associated Press, May 15, 2006.
- Press Release: "FAIR: National Guard 'Photo Op' at the Border is Not a Substitute for a Comprehensive Immigration Enforcement Strategy. Real Reductions in Illegal Alien Population Must Be a Prerequisite to Any Other Immigration Policy Changes," PR Newswire (Yahoo!), May 15, 2006.
- Steve Sailer, "How many troops are enough?" iSteve.com (Houston Chronicle), May 15, 2006.
- Al Pessin, "Pentagon Prepares to Help Control US-Mexico Border," Pessin Report / Voice of America, May 15, 2006.
- "Bush to highlight security co-operation with Canada in prime-time TV speech," CBC News (Canada), May 15, 2006.
- "U.S. officials open to troops on Northern border," Canadian Press (National Post), May 15, 2006.
- Steve Holland, UPDATE 2: "Bush plans more National Guard on Mexico border," Reuters, May 15, 2006.
- Robert Burns, "Nat'l Guard not expected to patrol border," Associated Press (Seattle Post-Intelligencer), May 15, 2006.
- Michael Muskal, "Bush Preparing Comprehensive Response to Border Issue," Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2006.
- Brian Knowlton, "Bush border plan stirs opposition," International Herald Tribune, May 15, 2006.
- "Bush Seeks to Heal Republican Split on Immigration" (Update5), Bloomberg News, May 15, 2006.
- Nedra Pickler, "Bush to Say Border Not Fully Under Control,"] Associated Press in the San Francisco Chronicle; ABC News and Forbes, May 15, 2006.
- Alicia A. Caldwell, "Border dwellers worry about troops' advent," Associated Press (The Mercury News), May 15, 2006.
- "Bush to unveil border guard boost," BBC, May 15, 2006.
- Craig Gordon, "Plan for troops at border may not soothe GOP," Newsday (Seattle Times), May 16, 2006.
- Monica Davey and Ralph Blumenthal, "President's Middle Path Disappoints Both Sides of Sharply Divisive Immigration Issue," New York Times, May 16, 2006.
- Rachel L. Swarns, "Plan Met With Warnings That It Won't Be Enough," New York Times, May 16, 2006.
- "Division over Bush migrant plan," BBC, May 16, 2006.
- Michael Kranish, "Guard is considered ready and able to respond," Boston Globe, May 16, 2006.
- Julian E. Barnes and Peter Spiegel, "Low-Key Role Is Expected for Guard," Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2006.
- Editorial: "Border security only part of a fix," Boston Herald, May 16, 2006.
- Lou Dobbs, "Bush speech satisfies nobody," CNN, May 17, 2006.
- "Minutemen Dismiss Bush's Border Plan," Associated Press (Houston Chronicle), May 17, 2006.
- Jacques Billeaud, "First Troops in Bush's Border Plan Arrive," Associated Press (Washington Post), June 3, 2006.
- "National Guard Set to Work on Border," Associated Press (Washington Post), June 4, 2006.
- Richard Marosi, "Cameras keep eye on immigration. Border Patrol agents unleash key weaponry," Los Angeles Times (Boston Globe), June 4, 2006.
- "First Guard troops to start work at Mexican border," CNN, June 5, 2006.
- "U.S. begins deploying National Guard along Mexico border," CBC News (Canada), June 5, 2006.
- Wesley Pruden, "The missing troops on the border," Washington Post, June 30, 2006.
- Aaron C. Davis, "Guard deployment at border falls way short of goal," Capitol Hill Blue, July 1, 2006.