Sens. McCain, Kyl Press to Boost Border Security

Wednesday, 25 May 2011 12:55 PM

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Republican Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl urged President Barack Obama Tuesday to keep the National Guard troops now deployed at the U.S.-Mexico border there, even as money for the project is running out. Funds to keep 1,200 troops securing the border will run dry in June, the Tucson Sentinel.com reported Wednesday.

John McCain, Jon Kyl, border, security
Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl: “The number of National Guard, Border Patrol agents, and Customs officers should be dramatically increased." (Getty Images Photo)
“The administration and Congress have failed to provide adequate resources to maintain the deployment of the National Guard along the Southwest border,” McCain and Kyl said in a joint statement. “Unless action is taken now, the deployment will end in June.”

Administration officials have indicated that they plan to keep the guards in place. The Republican Arizona senators, however, see that only as a starting point.

“The number of National Guard, Border Patrol agents, and Customs officers should be dramatically increased,” they said. “However, maintaining the limited National Guard presence currently on the ground is the least the administration can do to protect citizens living in the Southwest border region. Extending the National Guard is the right thing to do for Arizona and the country.”

The troops are making a difference, the senators said.

“According to the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard is, 'helping to significantly drive down illicit flows of people, drugs, guns and money across our Southwest border' and 'has contributed to a significant decrease in border-wide apprehensions, meaning far fewer people are attempting to cross the border illegally,’” they said.

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