Ga. senators: Send 6,000 troops to Mexican border

A day after President Obama ordered 1,200 National Guard troops to the Mexican border, Georgia’s two senators co-sponsored an amendment to a spending bill to send 6,000 troops to the nation’s Southwest border.

“The defense of our nation begins with securing our borders,” Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said in a statement. “It is time for Congress to demonstrate a strong commitment to border security. It is the only way we will be able to combat illegal immigration, drug and alien smuggling and violent activity along the Southwest border.”

Obama announced his plan on Tuesday. The plan has been described as similar to one President Bush advocated, albeit in a scaled-down version.

“The situation on the Southwest border demands much more,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said in a news release. If Congress is serious about fixing our broken immigration system, we have to start by implementing earnest measures to secure the borders. This amendment would be a good first step.”

Sens. John McCain and John Kyl, both Arizona Republicans, also want 6,000 troops on the border and introduced a similar proposal on Tuesday.

“In 2006, President Bush deployed 6,000 National Guard troops to the Southwest border,” the senators said in a joint statement. “We believe the situation on the border is far worse today than it was then due to the escalating violence between the Mexican drug cartels and the Mexican government.

“For this reason, we need to deploy at least 6,000 National Guard troops to the border region,” they added. “The fact that President Obama announced today that he will only be sending one-fifth of the troops we believe are required is a weak start and does not demonstrate an understanding of the current situation in the region.”

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