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Obama Expands Militarization of US-Mexico Border

HeadlineMay 26, 2010

President Obama has unveiled plans to further militarize the US border with Mexico. On Tuesday, Obama said he would deploy an additional 1,200 National Guard troops to the southern border and ask Congress for an extra $500 million for border security.

President Obama: “I’ve been very clear. I think the Arizona law was a mistake. And my Justice Department is looking very carefully at the nature of this law. But I understand the frustrations of folks in Arizona. The fact of the matter is, is that for decades we keep on talking about solving the problems at the border, and we don’t. The truth of the matter is, is that you’ve got hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers coming over the border, and that gets people stressed.”

The move marks a victory for Republicans who have been pushing for increased border militarization. Republican Senator John McCain said he welcomes the new troop commitment but thinks even more should be deployed.

Sen. John McCain: “I appreciate the additional 1,200 being sent of the Guard, as well as additional $500 million, but it’s simply not enough. We need 6,000. We need 3,000 across the border, an additional 3,000 — sorry, 3,000 National Guard troops to the Arizona-Mexico border.”

Immigrant rights group, meanwhile, are criticizing Obama’s plan. In a statement, the National Day Laborers Organizing Network said, “Instead of addressing a domestic human rights crisis, the president appears to be caving into extremists who are further shattering and already broken immigration system. Any legitimate concerns about border security cannot be resolved until undocumented people are given full equality in our society.”

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