US to send troops to Mexican border
President Obama will send 1,200 National Guard troops to the US-Mexican border following calls from both parties to step up the fight against border violence, Press TV reported.
The White House will also request $500 million to help fund more law-enforcement activities at the border, an administration official said on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, the troops would not act in a law-enforcement capacity, but would provide intelligence, surveillance and training, while Customs and Border Patrol adds additional agents.
Illegal immigration across the border with Mexico has been in intense focus since Arizona last month passed a new law to drive 460,000 illegal immigrants out of the state, which straddles one of the principal corridors for human and drug smugglers heading up from Mexico.
Obama's predecessor, Republican President George W Bush, sent National Guard troops to the border under Operation Jump Start in June 2006 to support border patrol while they recruited more agents.
That operation ended in 2008, before the November presidential election that brought Obama to the White House. There are currently 344 US National Guard troops working along the border.