Two Republican senators proposed Monday sending 3,000 more U.S. National Guard soldiers to quell violence spilling over the border between their home state of Arizona and Mexico.
In a 10-point plan for beefing up security in the area, Sens. John McCain and John Kyl also called for permanently adding 3,000 U.S. Custom and Border Protection Agents to the Arizona/Mexico border by 2015.
They also called for completing construction of 700 miles of fencing along the border and beefing up unmanned aerial vehicle patrols so that they could be run 24 hours a day.
"Violence has dramatically increased over the last two years," McCain said at a joint press conference with Kyl and two sheriffs from Arizona border areas.
Of the roughly one million people detained after illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico, 600,000 were nabbed in Arizona, and 17 percent of them had existing criminal records in the southwestern state, said McCain.
Moreover, "those crossing the border are increasingly armed," he warned.
"You can't live in Arizona and not have this problem every day in the newspapers. People are fed up," said Kyl.
McCain, once an ardent supporter of overhauling U.S. immigration laws, faces an unusually vigorous challenge for the Republican Senate nomination this year from conservative former representative J.D. Hayworth.
© AFP 2016