2 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 15, 2006
Bush considers border control options
patrol duties would strain
National Guard troops
WASHINGTON (AP)- On the
eve of President Bush's Oval Office
address on immigration, members of
Congress expressed concern yesterday
that using National Guard troops to
keep illegal immigrants from crossing
the border would further burden an
already overextended military.
The criticism came from Democrats,
but also an important Republican nego-
tiator in the immigration debate - Sen.
Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. He said
National Guard troops cannot secure the
border over the long term and that he does
not think it is wise even in the short term.
"We've got National Guard members
on their second, third and fourth tours
in Iraq," Hagel said. "We have stretched
our military as thin as we have ever seen
it in modern times. And what in the
world are we talking about here,sending
a National Guard that we may not have
any capacity to send up to or down to
protect borders? That's not their role."
The president's national security
adviser said sending troops to patrol the
border with Mexico is among the ideas
Bush is considering on immigration.
Bush plans to say in his national
address at 8 p.m. tonight how the gov-
ernment should deal with border securi-
ty and illegal immigrants already in the
United States, Stephen Hadley said.
"This is not about militarizing the bor-
der," Hadley said on "Face the Nation"
on CBS. "The president is looking to do
everything he can to secure the border.
It's what the American people want."
Bush is considering the National Guard
plan as he seeks support from conserva-
tives in Congress for his immigration bill.
Bush wants to allow foreigners to get tem-
porary work permits to enter and work in
the United States but many conservatives
want a tougher approach on illegal immi-
grants trying to sneak into the country.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist
(R-Tenn.) said he supported using the
National Guard on the Mexican border.
He said lawmakers who doubt that the
National Guard, whose members have
served for years in Iraq and went to the
Gulf Coast after last summer's hurri-
canes, could take on border patrol duty
are "whining" and "moaning."
"We've got to secure our borders," Frist
said on CNN's "Late Edition." "We hear
it from the American people. We've got
millions of people coming across that bor-
der. First and foremost, secure the border,
whatever it takes. Everything else we've
done has failed. We've got to face that.
And so we need to bring in, I believe, the
A Mexican citizen looks over a fence marking the U.S. border near San Diego
last month. President Bush is expected to announce a plan to use National
Guard troops to patrol the boarder in his address on immigration tonight.
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