In early June, Governor Jan Brewer sat down with President Obama for a face-to-face meeting in the Oval Office to talk about border security and immigration. In the meeting, the President pledged to send 1200 National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border. At the time, however, he did not say how many troops would come to Arizona. The White House has now announced that 524 National Guard members will be sent to the Arizona-Mexico border beginning in August.
The announcement was made by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard following a meeting with a White House delegation visiting Southern Arizona. The meeting was also attended by a number of border county sheriffs and prosecutors who told the White House officials about the particular problems they faced as law enforcement officials working on the border. Following the Tucson conference, the White House officials went to Phoenix to brief Governor Jan Brewer.
For weeks, Governor Brewer has been demanding more information from the White House about the plans for border enforcement. It should be noted that Congresswoman Giffords and Attorney General Goddard made the announcement before the Governor’s meeting even began. Also of note is the fact that Goddard is running for Governor as a Democrat. At the announcement, he said politics and partisanship had nothing to do with the announcement and it shouldn’t matter that he had a chance to speak before the Governor. However, his gubernatorial campaign was quick to point out that he met with the officials from Washington and announced the arrival of the troops.
In addition the troops on the border, President Obama is asking Congress for an additional $600 million including nearly $400 million for more Border Patrol officers. The last time National Guard troops were stationed along the Arizona-Mexico border some people complained that all the troops did was office work. While the details of their work is still being worked out, it appears that the troops will not be in the office, they will be on the border and this time they will be armed.