This week, California became the first state to be provided with resources to deploy National Guard troops to its southern border with Mexico. The move is a part of a promise from the Obama administration to secure the border. Gov. Schwarzenegger said he was proud to be the first state to have troops get to work.
“I take great pride in serving as Commander-in-Chief of the California National Guard. Our soldiers and airmen are true action heroes who respond to disasters at home and overseas. Today, our National Guard has been called to help secure the border and protect the safety of the American people, and I am proud that we are the first state to have our troops trained and operational for this mission,” said Governor Schwarzenegger in a statement.
As of right now, the governor said he was sending a little more than 200 troops to begin their assigned mission.
California’s neighboring state of Arizona is feeling snubbed by the fact that President Obama chose to provide resources to California first when the Grand Canyon State is a place of greater urgency. According to a Fox News local affiliate in Phoenix, Arizona is the epicenter of United States when it comes to illegal human and drug smuggling.
To some, President Obama is playing politics with the state that most vocally challenged the administration’s immigration policy. After all, it has been Arizona that has been at the top of the headlines with the murder of Rob Krentz by a suspected illegal alien. Most notably, the state’s own immigration law aimed to challenge the current immigration policy status quo.
“We are the main effort. Of all the illegals who come into America, more than half come into Arizona. This is a half hearted measure that is certain to fail. What we need here are 3,000 soldiers at the border," says Sheriff Paul Babeu according to Fox.
Babeu’s point certainly seems to valid. If the Obama Justice Department slammed Arizona with a lawsuit almost as soon as the state’s immigration law was to take effect, one would think that the administration would also rush to Arizona’s aid to provide them with the resources they need to combat crime coming from across the border. Babeu has predicted that the administration will use Arizona for politically expedient reasons, providing the state with the resources they need right before the ever important time of the November midterms.
While the soap opera-like drama plays itself out between the Obama administration and Arizona, the administration has finally begun work on immigration reform with the approval of a new border security bill.
At the end of the day, both Gov. Schwarzenegger and Gov. Brewer agree on the principle that the states can only do so much when it comes to securing the border. Schwarzenegger acknowledged that deploying the National Guard troops is “only the beginning.”
In order for effective border security to take effect, many believe the federal government must take action that will secure the general welfare of its citizens.