Troops to the Border

The Obama Administration announced on Tuesday that it is sending 1,200 National Guard troops to assist with immigration control, notably along the Arizona border with Mexico. The move represents an unstated victory for the much-maligned Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and her state legislature, whose recently passed immigration law, assailed by critics as a remarkable assertion of state authority to secure borders, was at least in part an indictment of the federal government’s failure to do precisely that job. Sending in troops to secure the border is an acknowledgement that Arizona was right, after all.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, faced with the mounting natural disaster occasioned by the month-long Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, may want to take notice of how quickly a significant federal military response to a national crisis can be implemented. Indeed, a state just needs to act forthrightly within the constitutional limits of its police power to fill the vacuum of leadership caused by a paralysis of will in Washington.

Arizonans, across party lines, had requested the troops months ago. Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had asked Washington for the troops after the March 27 murder of Robert Krentz, whose family and 35,000-acre cattle ranch had been inducted into the Arizona Farming and Ranching Hall of Fame only two years earlier. Krentz, whose prominent family had been in cattle ranching for nearly a century, had reported that illegals crossing his land had cost him nearly $8 million in damage just during the years 2000-2005. Arizona’s Attorney-General, also a Democrat, wrote the Obama White House on April 20 for National Guard assistance. Meanwhile, the state’s two U.S. Senators, Republicans Jon Kyl and John McCain, both had asked for 3,000 troops a month ago. Indeed, McCain now wants 6,000 along the border.

Along came Arizona Senate Bill 1070 (SB 1070), as amended by House Bill 2162. Then the public opinion surveys. Suddenly, Obama was persuaded to send in the cavalry.

SB 1070 is hardly remarkable. Consistent with settled federal Constitutional precedent dating back 42 years to Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), the new Arizona law merely codifies that state law enforcement officials may make a “reasonable attempt” to ascertain a person’s lawful status in America when that person already has been lawfully stopped, detained, or arrested – but only when a “reasonable suspicion exists” to suspect the person is here illegally. (How else, for that matter, did federal immigration officers in Postville, Iowa, determine precisely which 300 employees at the Agriprocessors slaughterhouse were illegally in America?)

Even so, the Arizona law explicitly warns law enforcement that they “may not consider race, color or national origin” when implementing the law. For anyone here legally, the law hardly differs from allowing a traffic cop to ask for your driver’s license at a lawful stop because all legal aliens carry proper documentation with them, as mandated by federal law. 8 U.S.C. § 1304(e).

Attorney-General Eric Holder, who had been condemning the Arizona law, told Congress last week that he still had not read it. Perhaps he finally has worked his way through its ten pages and advised his boss that Washington better do something to recapture the immigration enforcement debate because SB 1070 probably will pass Constitutional muster. In finally responding to widespread public pressure – the Arizona law is wildly popular throughout America – with a partial military deployment to bolster a desperate front in the nation’s effort to protect the Homeland, President Obama has afforded us a “déjà vu moment.”

We have seen this Obama drama before. His announcement is eerily reminiscent of Washington’s three-month delay last year in responding – and, then, only with a partial, politically handcuffed deployment – to Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal’s increasingly public pleas last autumn to send 40,000 troops to bolster American efforts aimed at suppressing the Taliban in Afghanistan. Gen McChrystal pleaded for troops, finally getting only some of what he sought after a months-long delay. And this only after he took matters into his own hands, breaking protocol to back the President into a corner.

In McChrystal’s case, he finally went public in late September 2009 with the substance of his 66-page August 30 request for troops. Obama, after dressing down his four-star general for deviating impatiently from protocol and forcing the President into that corner, finally acted on December 1 – virtually three months later – with a partial fix: most of the requested troops, but handcuffed in their objective by the President’s announcement at West Point that they would be withdrawn from the Afghanistan theater a year later.

The pattern is repeating in Arizona. As a brief film posted by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) demonstrates, America’s southern border along Arizona is outright porous. It seems harder to enter a movie theater without a ticket than to cross Mexico illegally into Arizona. The CIS further reports, inter alia, that some 460,000 illegals presently reside in Arizona; that as many as 22 percent of all felonies in Maricopa County are perpetrated by illegals; that illegals comprise approximately ten percent of the county’s adult population; that illegals comprise 11 percent of the state prison population; and that approximately one of every six people arrested by the Border Patrol in the Tucson area have prior criminal records in the U.S. No wonder the new measure’s supporters outnumber opponents by three-to-one in Arizona.

As it did towards McChrystal’s continuing pleas to bolster the Afghanistan front, the Obama White House dallied for more than two months in the face of desperate bipartisan pleas for troops to protect the Arizona-Mexico border – actually dallying for more than a year on the challenge to demonstrate some leadership on the issue – finally agreeing only piecemeal to dispatch a mere forty percent of the military muscle most recently sought, and only to provide intelligence and surveillance but not to participate in direct enforcement. Cochise County sheriff Larry Dever has noted that the deployment provides only one Guardsman for every two miles of security fence, and – assuming the standard three shifts over a daily 24-hour period – actually only one troop for every six miles. Rep. Harry Mitchell, an Arizona Democrat, was equally dismayed: “I believe we need much more,” he said. “Arizona continues to pay a huge price for the federal government’s failure to secure the border.” Another Arizona Democrat, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, also chided the White House: “[M]uch more needs to be done. It will take more than just 1,200 additional troops to get the border under control.”

And so we watch a hapless Administration in Washington, awarded a Nobel Peace Prize by European admirers and cluelessly obsessed with pursuing an agenda of all the wrong priorities.

Indeed, the stumbling in the dark has included everything from winning the right to host the Olympic Games in Chicago to endangering the fragile national economy and job market by pursuing costly and scientifically dubious climate-control strategies to revamping an excellent national healthcare system into a morass that Americans do not want and at a price we cannot afford. All of this while the White House fails to grasp the first responsibility of government: to protect Homeland security.

At a minimum, that responsibility includes sealing the porous border with a comprehensively planned federal strategy that does not rely patchwork on states doing Washington’s job, and proactively preventing terrorist attacks on these shores rather than racing to Mirandize admitted Al Qaeda bombers. The fate of Democratic incumbents in the recent primary elections is a sign of what’s in store for the president’s party if his administration continues on its present course of appeasing every constituency in the world except for the lawfully documented American people.

Dov Fischer is a legal affairs consultant and adjunct professor of the law of civil procedure and advanced torts. He was formerly Chief Articles Editor of UCLA Law Review and writes extensively on political, cultural, and religious issues.  He is author of general Sharon’s War Against Time Magazine and blogs at

  • mimi

    These are all interesting things to think about.

    Online Pharmachy

    • davarino

      I think I need to go to a pharmachist and get some drubs

  • Vienna1683

    Obama sending a measly 1200 troops to "guard" the border is nothing more than a symbolic ruse to make him look tough while in reality it is a prelude to his push for amnesty for 12 million Democrat voters.

    I'd love to know what the rules of engagement are for those guarding our border at the behest of Obama. Probably to simply yell Ole! and let them pass.

    The man is digusting.

    • maria

      obama tries to pretend as usual. He and his cronies Valerie Jarrett and erich Holder should be impeached with him. They try to make the best country in the world the USA weak and islamic.

    • K. Bond

      Cmon, that's low…using Obamma and disgusting in the same sentence is an insult to the word disgusting!

      ; )

  • JosephWiess

    Well, that's obama for you. He doesn't want to do any real work, since he'd rather browbeat someone into doing it for him. The man is not a leader, he's an agitator, and needs to be fired.

  • davarino

    Obama is a niave amateur. He and his little band of knuckle heads think they can do things the way they did it in Chicago and no one will notice.

    I love what Sarah Palin said, "I can see November from my house".

  • K. Bond

    Hypocricy gone wild folks…first he stands with Mexican President and publically bashes the AZ Im. law…and now this? He, like so many liberal dems are flip floppers.

    This man (Ohblammy) is a mad dog, gone loco.

  • sflbib

    AZ Governor Brewer recently signed into law 1) SB 1070, 2) another law that eliminates public university courses in race hyping, and 3) a third law, based on a court decision, that says businesses are not required to offer their services in languages other than English.

    The new laws have Øbama on the ropes fighting defense, and liberals are going ape sh!t.

  • USMCSniper

    If it is possible to be a bigger “wuss” than President Jimmy Carter was – then Obama certainly is. The man has bared the chest and neck of America to its enemies. America cannot survive with a weakling as President. America has a perpetual bulls eye painted on its back and we are the target for all sorts of mischief — including a massive invasion by our southern neighbor of illegal aliens. Nothing will be done to secure our borders until we are rid of the Utopian seeking Leftists in charge of the US Government today. That chance is coming — Judgment Day — November 2nd, 2010.


  • Tanstaafl

    You know, we are just not being "multi-cultural" enough!

    We should adopt the Mexican standards for immigration. That way, our "illegal" Mexican "friends" would be familiar with what will be expected from them.

    A note to the Political Correct – Mexican immigration standards are far more restrictive than ours. Perhaps President Obama would be willing to discuss this with the Mexican government?

  • Arius

    NOTE! The troops to the border WILL NOT BE ARMED! This is bullshit. Hang tough, Arizona.

  • Arius

    Where has our mighty MSM of liars reported this?

    From Bud Burrell’s blog

    […] The AZ law was passed right after a rancher living on the AZ-Mexico border was assassinated by a professional sent to kill him by the Mexican drug cartels, Bob Krenker, shot through the lungs and left to die.

    […] While he was dying, he managed to alert his neighbors by radio to his plight, and they rallied a posse save him and to chase down the murderer. They were too late to save him, as he had bled out in great pain from his wounds. After tracking the perpetrator 8 miles towards the border (which the Border Patrol sits back from by 60 miles generally) these ranchers and cattlemen cornered the suspect in a dry arroyo canyon. As they were about to smoke him out to seize him and arrest him for murder, in swooped the Border Patrol and Federal Marshalls with their posse supported by a helicopter, who immediately demanded the locals back off and cede the capture of the suspect to them. Lots of luck. In an abominable performance, they managed to let the suspect escape almost inexplicably from a one way position. It has been speculated on here that they didn’t want him. If by any chance that were to be proved, these officials should be put in prison themselves.

  • Thunder

    B.S. !!! 2,000 miles still open wide…to Mexicans and OTHER THAN MEXICANS – no, not refugees from Tibet.
    And Memorial DAY??? Screw it, says Commmmie in Chief – he'll go to a rock concert!
    Priorities, you poor saps!!!

  • Joemont

    Oh this is rich!!!! 1,200 National Guardsmen to the border. That outta scare the Hell out of the Cartels and Coyotes. Understand they are going in support roles anyway. What they gonna do throw their typewriters at the Illegals? Should be at least 5,000 and more like 10,000 if Obomber wants the to be really effective.

  • "gunner"

    1,600 unarmed uniformed troops, to do exacly what? what's needed down there is a full mechanised infantry division with weapons loaded, cocked and locked and loudspeakers playing "deguello" on their vehicles as the troopers dismount to inform the mexicans of the rules of engagement.
    (for those not aware, "deguello" is the bugle call ordering "no quarter", meaning no surrender will be accepted, no prisoners taken, mexican general santa ana ordered "deguello" sounded at the battle of ,600 unarmed uniformed troops, to do exacly what? what's needed down there is a full mechanised infantry division with weapons loaded, cocked and locked and loudspeakers playing "deguello" on their vehicles as the troopers dismount to inform the mexicans of the rules of engagement.__(for those not aware, "deguello" is the bugle call ordering "no quarter", meaning no surrender will be accepted, no prisoners taken. mexican general santa ana ordered "deguello" sounded at the battle of the alamo, we should return the favour in this new mexican invasion.

  • "gunner"

    ooops! sorry 'bout the editing error

  • Jim Johnson

    Allowing free flow of illegal immigrants to come across the border is the Democrats ticket to perpetual occupancy of the US Government.

    He is not stupid or weak . He is doing what he is expected to do.

  • henry

    IF you succeed in closing up the joke of a border (other countries seal up tight as hell their borders with just a ten foot high fence with razor wire and one real guard every mile – fewer guards that we now employ per mile – Cheap, easy. Why can't we do it? Answer, Billionaires won't let you – and their best source of income? Arabs!

    IF you succeed in closing up the borders, the country will be over-run with Muslims in just one year – effete breeders who often murder their own babies are in great need of young people to keep their economies alive – thou takest thy pick! You desire a potential suicide bomber for a neighbor, or Speedy Gonzales, the Cisco Kid, Zorro, or Father Sierra? Or, explain to me how any other choice is going to come to be a possibility in our lives? The Republicans have descended into pure ANARCHY they long ago revealed themselves. They have picked Lots of Government for the poor, and No Government for the super rich! They are not citizens of the USA anylonger, they are Citzens of the World! Anyplace they want to live is paradise for them – they have died and gone to heaven – if the US fails, there is an Island full of whores and Disneyland waiting for them not matter what! So! let 's us help the Billionaires get Amnesty for our beloved Mexicans that we love so much under the table – that way we can control the border like any other country can for a lot less money and effort – and, we can keep out the Muslim Terrorists, and, we will have an Island of Peace like we had before Oil Money Opened up our country to Religious Democracy Haters who want more'n anything to take away every little bit of our Free Speech!
    Sign below on the dotted line

    I HATE THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Frank(ly) M'Dear

    Every night, I pray to Jesus Christ to find it in His heart to take Barack Obama into his embrace. A deceased Obama would pose a far less significant threat to the fabric of the USA. I'm working on making it rhyme so my grandchildren can join me in expressing this very Christian American sentiment.

    As opposed to your secular post-modern atheist, I deal very forthrightly with these issues.

  • USMCSniper

    Congress's request was: "We urge you to deploy the National Guard to the U.S.- Mexico border, as has been requested by a number of border state Governors and Members of Congress. We ask that any National Guard troops that are deployed should be provided with very clear guidance of proper rules of engagement and should be armed and allowed to defend themselves if fired upon or attacked."

    1200 Nation Guard were sent but 6000 were requested, The rules of engagement are still undefined. They should be if fired upon then everyone in the direction of the firing should be in a kill zone. Let's not have any dead National Guardsman because of politiccal correctness.

  • Bruce

    1,200 troops to the border? This is symbolism over substance. But it wouldn't matter if we sent ten times that many. You can be reasonably sure they will not be allowed to return fire if they are shot at by the invaders. Most likely they will not even be issued ammo so there will be no embarrassing "accidents".

  • Carolina Don

    The troops should be sent home if they cannot arrest anyone or return fire if fired upon. I say screw appearances. Obamanation looks bad enough and we have been laughed at enough as a country. If they can't Lock "n Load, they should just load up and go home, or load all illegals up….and take them to Chicago.