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A metal fence constructed by National Guardsmen forms a double-fence border barrier in a dusty no-man's land of denuded desert that runs along the US-Mexico border on October 4, 2007 east of San Luis, Arizona.
President Barack Obama will send 1,200 National Guard troops to help secure the U.S.-Mexico border and will request $500 million for border protection and law enforcement activities. The National Guard troops will work on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support, analysis and training, and support efforts blocking drug trafficking. The troops will temporarily supplement border patrol agents until Customs and Border Patrol can recruit and train additional officers and agents to serve on the border. Will these efforts help Obama in his pursuit of immigration reform? Will the deployment be enough to secure the border? Is bolstered border security the best way to tamp down on drug trafficking and illegal immigration?
Brian P. Bilbray, Republican Congressman representing California’s 50th District (Encinitas, Escondido); Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus
Angelica Salas, executive director of CHIRLA, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles