An immigration reform activist says the concerns of four border-state governors ought to be enough to convince Congress and the White House to extend the presence of the National Guard on the southern border.
In 2006, when the Guard was posted on the southern border to help the strapped Border Patrol, critics warned that sending soldiers would be an insult to Mexico and that innocents would get shot by troops trained for combat, not law enforcement. But two years later, none of that has happened.
Now those worries have given way to fears that the bloody drug cartel war on the Mexican side will spill into the U.S. and overwhelm the Border Patrol. And the four border state governors who contributed the bulk of those troops are trying to persuade Congress and the White House to extend the Guard’s presence, which will end as scheduled on July 15.
Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says the bipartisan pleas from these governors should be enough to get Congress to act. “…It seems to have widespread support,” he maintains. “There is certainly not just concern about illegal immigration, but the fact that in many areas of the border you have criminal organizations that have pretty much taken over control there,” explains Mehlman.
He argues that protecting U.S. soil is precisely the reason for having a National Guard in the first place.