Q&A: Should Armed Guard Troops Be Sent to Mexico Border?
This is part two in a series examining the impact of recent violence in Mexico on the United States. Yesterday, Stateline.org asked how concerned the United States should be about Mexican drug violence .
be used to patrol the border with Mexico?
Why or why not?
We had some National Guard troops on the border for some other issues, but (Gov. Bill Richardson) has since pulled them off. I don't think any of us have seen the need to send them back.
I think that we're all concerned about the level of violence on the border (but) I think that some of the current (federal) plans that I've seen to put more border patrol agents and use some specialty people from Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (are a) good, measured response for right now to beef up the expertise.
-New Mexico Attorney General Gary King (D)
-Arizona state Rep. Ray Barnes (R), member, House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee
-James Jay Carafano, senior research fellow, Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.
We train our border patrol agents for observation, detection and apprehension of illegal immigrants and illegal substances coming across the border. We train our National Guard people for combat situations. I really think it would be a big mistake, without having some kind of invasion on U.S. soil, to call out combat troops and ask them to do the job of the border patrol, which is enforcing immigration law and enforcing our laws regarding bringing substances into the country.
-El Paso, Texas, Mayor John Cook
Most of the illegal aliens coming through are probably not armed. However, there are some (in) the criminal element that are carrying weapons. They will shoot first so, in my opinion, if (the National Guard) is going to be out there doing their job, they need to be armed.
-Randall Rhyne, president, Texas Narcotics Officers' Association