BY AMY ISACKSON MAY 26, 2010
Analysts say President Barack Obama’s plan to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border will have minimal impact on border security. The guardsmen are part of Obama’s $500-million proposal to make the border safer.
The National Guard troops would work as extra eyes and ears for the Border Patrol, but would not be allowed to make arrests.
In 2006, President Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border, including to San Diego.
Shortly after, Wayne Cornelius, who studies migration at UCSD, interviewed about 1,000 people in Mexico who were considering crossing to the United States illegally.
“The National Guard presence on the border was a major source of concern for just 5 percent of our interviewees. And it’s even more revealing because the majority believed, incorrectly, that the National Guard in 2006 were armed and, presumably, authorized to shoot,” said Cornelius.
Cornelius and a bipartisan homeland security analyst in Washington say sending the National Guard may buy political protection for the president and some Democratic congressman.