Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

Will the National Guard be sent to protect our borders?

Asked by john65pennington (29192points) April 19th, 2010

Senator John McCain has requested 3,000 National Guard troops to the Arizona border to stop the illegals from crossing from Mexico into Arizona. the governor of Arizona made this request to the Senator, because of the spike in the crime rates, in Arizona, by illegal immigrants. i have several questions. why was this not requested two years ago and will Obama honor Senator John McCains request to federalize 3,000 National Guard troops for this purpose? this should have an interesting outcome. so, what do you think? will it happen why or why not?
Source: CNN

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28 Answers

mrrich724's avatar

I don’t know if it WILL happen. But I believe it should. If it’s worth it for us to send how many thousands across seas, then I don’t think 3000 to enforce the law of our land on our own land is too much to ask for!

I think it’s supported if the Senator can produce solid numbers relating the crime increase to the illegal immigration.

john65pennington's avatar

Mrrich, this was the purpose of my question. to see if Obama will commit to federalizing the National Guard to protect Arizonas border. if he does not, then something is terribly wrong and we all will know what that might be. agree?

If this does occur, will all the other border states make the same request. like i said, this will be an interesting situation.

shilolo's avatar

@john65pennington “If he does not, then something is terribly wrong, and we all know what that might be (emphasis mine)”. Well, I don’t know what that might be. The President is the commander in chief and has to decide how to allocate resources. Meanwhile, the governor of the individual state actually has the leeway to call up the guard directly, without requiring federal action (note this article from a military website from last year). The current action is either a political move, or a grab for federal money. Either way, the motivation of McCain and the governor of Arizona seems clear.

mrrich724's avatar

I completely agree with @john65pennington . . . it will be a lot clearer as to what the motives for mobilizing really are if action was not taken in Arizona.

In that sense, I would feel like he is somewhat obligated to oblige just to keep up appearances.

Even if other border states requested help, I feel like we should have the resources (local law enforcement intelligence/ help) to get the job done. I have a hard time swallowing the fact that our border covers more space than all of the middle-east.

mrrich724's avatar

And I think regardless of what McCain’s motivation may be, it benefits us Americans right here on our own soil.

shilolo's avatar

Ironically, John McCain was once a sponsor of a major immigration reform bill with Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy that incorporated legalization, a guest worker program and border security. Being up for reelection, and having lost the Presidential election, he now seems to have retreated from his own history. Sad, really.

mrrich724's avatar

Not knowing much about the reform bill, would it be safe to say that one could support it and still want to raise arms against immigrants blatantly coming into our country and committing crimes?

shilolo's avatar

Well, since you put it that way… The crime issue is a canard. There is significantly more crime committed by American citizens than illegal immigrants. In any event, I imagine you are familiar with the macroeconomic laws of supply and demand. We, the American people, demand cheap services, cheap food, and cheap labor. The illegal immigrants are the suppliers of low-wage work to provide these things for us. It is very easy to use broad strokes to cast all illegal immigrants as thieves and scumbags, but the reality is that the majority are simply looking for a better life, and strangely enough, working for $5/hr under the table in the USA under difficult conditions is still better than a third-world existence. Imagine that.

kheredia's avatar

I think it is a waste of tax payers money to send the national guard to the borders. Most of these illegal aliens are not criminals. They come to this country to work and have a better life. The real criminals are the business owners who hire these illegal aliens and exploit them, making them work an insane amount of hours of hard labor for less than half of what they would pay a U.S citizen. Classifying illegal aliens as criminals is just ignorant.

bobloblaw's avatar

I doubt it’ll happen as troops are probably committed ... else where.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Arizona doesn’t have to wait for Obama to nationalize its Nat’l Guard. The Gov. can call them out to patrol the border. They just will have to pay for it themselves, instead of getting federal funds to do the job.

JeffVader's avatar

I just assumed you meant to keep out all the damn Canadians ;)

CMaz's avatar

Jerry Brown wanted to do it in the 80’s. He suggested moving our bases to the Mexican border. I think it was/is a great idea.

But that would stop a lucrative business.

mrrich724's avatar

The bottom line is, they become a criminal once they cross the border, do they not?

Is it not illegal to cross the border without appropriate paperwork/ID?

I’m sorry, but regardless of the reason they come across, they knowingly commited a crime. I understand that they do many jobs Americans do not want. In fact, I have mentioned that fact in other Fluther discussions.

It does not negate the fact that the law is the law. And beyond just generalizing and calling them all criminals, a basis fact of this discussion is the direct correlation between immigration rates in Arizona and crime rates there.

I think it’s this simple. Arizona sees increased illegal immigration. At the same time, they notice crime rates increasing involving illegal aliens. Do we use our resources to stop this? The answer is YES.

“But what about their feelings?! They just want to work, they just want to . . .”

Is McCain’s (government in general) responsibility to consider the feelings of illegal aliens, or to protect the Americans that are on the receiving end of the crime that is being specifically addressed?

WestRiverrat's avatar

The idea that Americans won’t do certain jobs is not a valid point IMHO. They just are not willing to do it with the current tools at the pay the companies are offering.

If there was not a labor force willing to do the job at the current prices, the companies would have to either fund research to increase the productivity of the people it does have to do the job, or pay enough that someone will do the job.

bobloblaw's avatar

How about Senator John McCain stop the BS political maneuvering and actually do something substantive about it? He’s a legislator. It is within his authority to introduce legislation or help to do so. How about we start demanding that our legislature institute real, drastic reform that includes beefing up the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CPB) ability to police and patrol the border? How about we give the CPB both the authority and resources to do its job?

It seems like everyone ignores the fact that we have an entire department established to handle border security. When reminded of it, people tend say “oh, they do a bad job.” Well, if they do a bad job, then reorganize them. Give them more authority. More funding. More people. Change the department so they actually can do their job. If it means giving them guns, armored humvees and predator drones, then so be it. Figure out how to fix them instead of undermining their ability and authority to do their jobs.

Instead, what we get are BS calls for the president to take drastic military action. Think about it. What you’re asking the president to do is to mass troops on the border. Historically, at worst, that has been seen as a precursor to a military invasion. At best, it sends signals that you think your neighbor is about to invade your territory with troops. You know what the National Guard is trained to do? They’re trained to shoot people. They’re trained to win wars. They’re not exactly trained to police, monitor and detain. That’s what we actually need. We need the CPB to be capable of policing and monitoring the border. We don’t need the National Guard to set up camp and shoot everyone that comes through. We need CPB agents that are both properly funded, equipped and trained to patrol the border.

Unless, of course, that’s what you want. Are you saying we should start shooting people on sight?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@bobloblaw normally I would agree with you. However with the civil (drug) wars going on in Mexico right now, it would be prudent to have some troops stationed near the border to help deal with any violence that spills across the border.

Qingu's avatar

Deploying National Guard troops so a formerly moderate senator can claim he’s tough on immigration to appeal to his insane xenophobic Republican base in a primary is probably not the best use of our military resources.

But of course if Obama doesn’t listen to McCain it’s because he’s a secret Muslim Communist who wants to sell America to the Mexicans, paid in ameros of course.

bobloblaw's avatar

@WestRiverrat Are you saying we should ignore actually fixing the problem? I only see people call for troops. I never see people call for something that will fix the problem. I understand what you’re saying: it’s a crisis and emergency. Ok, GOT IT. Then what happens? Are we just going to leave the troops there forever? What’s the long term plan? All this country has done is look at idiotic short term fixes to the problem. Rarely is it the case that we look at the long term.

I would have been fine if OP said “we need to do both,” but, nope, OP takes the easy short term option: militarize that border. To use a tired metaphor, you’re cleaning the wound without actually bandaging the wound. You’re not even prescribing antibiotics.

mrrich724's avatar


this may be the extreme, I would never want people to just be shot on sight. But I think if it happened enough times, it might curb the desire for people to break the law and cross.

I know, that is horrible. Like I said, extreme even. Just a thought. But you are completely correct, we need to use the resources we have and enable border patrol. I am all for a long term solution vs. a short term bandaid.

mrrich724's avatar


you are right, it is a temporary solution, and we need a good long term solution. i agree.

WestRiverrat's avatar

No what we need is a comprehensive program that includes securing the borders. We should also have an easy to access guest worker program. Not everyone that wants to work here wants to stay here.

If you are a guest worker and you follow the rules for five years, you should be advanced to the front of the permanent residency line if you want to stay here longer. Guest workers would be allowed to work for 9 months then they would have to return to their homeland. They should only be allowed in when there is a job for them. After 3 months at home they could return. When they return to their country of origin they get a check from the Gov’t returning the SSI they paid.

You get caught here after that time you are returned home immediately and your permission to return to the US is permanently cancelled.

mrrich724's avatar


I don’t like the guest worker idea. Doesn’t that seem like those ppl who want to “work here but not live here” imply that they will be earning American money and then spending it in Mexico? What are the implications of that for the American economy?

bobloblaw's avatar

@WestRiverrat That’s fine, too. Honestly, when it comes to this topic, we probably will agree on much. I just find it both annoying and disconcerting that people think the answer is as simple as putting troops on the border. It’s not. It never has been. Being from SoCal, I’ve heard this tired argument over and over again. It’s the political boogeyman that everyone brings up every few elections to scare up some votes. Once the election is over, nothing gets done.

bobloblaw's avatar

@mrrich724 They may earn it here and spend it there, but we are receiving something in return. We’re getting their labor. Their economic contribution to our economy is labor. We can, and do, sell the product of their labor.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@mrrich724 they will still be paying taxes on their earnings. They will be adding to our GDP. They will be here legally. They will go home when the job ends and not stay and collect unemployment/welfare. They will know they are going home so they won’t feel the need to bring their families with them.

kheredia's avatar

I agree with @WestRiverrat. If there was some sort of work agreement for these people then the government would not only be able to receive their share of taxes but they would also be able to keep track of the people who are working here and it would be harder for illegals to obtain work. Plus, like @WestRiverrat said, a lot of these people don’t come to this country to stay, they come because they want to be able to save some money and then go back to their country. Kicking them all back to their country is not the solution because regardless of what some people think, they do work the jobs that U.S citizens don’t want.

Ron_C's avatar

I believe that it would be illegal for a general call-up for the National Guard to protect a State’s border. The governor of that state, however, could declare an emergency and call out the state’s National Guard. The only problem is that it would have to be a real emergency and not one made up buy a Tea Party rally.

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