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Troops to remain at U.S.-Mexican border for 90 days

by Candice Miller on September 20, 2011

By Jim Kouri, Law Enforcement Examiner
For the second time this year, President Barack Obama  will extend the deployment of the 1,200 National Guard troops deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border until December, White House officials announced.
According to the White House press office, the Department of Defense (DOD) — at the request of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — approved funding for the National Guard troops, who have been posted along the Southwest border for more than a year in an attempt to curtail the drug, gun and money traffickers, as well as deter or capture illegal aliens.
But some believe the posting of troops isn’t the real issue. “The real issue is the rules of engagement for National Guard soldiers,” said law enforcment and security consultant George Paladino.
“If you put 12,000 soldiers at the border, but all they do is answer telephones or file reports, you’re not doing anything substantial to protect the United States from Mexican drug cartels or terrorists sneaking into the country,” warned Paladino.
“The decision to extend the National Guard’s deployment along our Southwest border is necessary to curb the illegal activity taking place along the border,” said Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), chairwoman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security.
“While this extension is a step in the right direction, I am concerned that the administration lacks a long-term strategy to secure the border. We cannot keep using short-term fixes. I call on the president and his administration to work with Congress on a comprehensive plan to secure the border.”
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.
Some believe Obama’s extension may be linked to the recent critical reports of the Administration’s use of questionable immigration statistics, the White House decision on deportations, and the scandal involving 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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