Obama Asks Congress for $600M Border Security Boost

Calls funds for staffing, fence repairs an 'emergency'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2010 9:24 AM CDT
A National Guard unit patrols at the Arizona-Mexico border in this Friday, Jan. 19, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)
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(Newser) – With Arizona's controversial new anti-illegal-immigrant law being blamed on weak federal enforcement, Barack Obama has formally asked Nancy Pelosi for $600 million to beef up security along the US/Mexico border. The president says the request will address “urgent and essential needs” and should be considered an emergency. The money would be used to buy two security drones and hire 1,000 additional Border Patrol agents, along with more agents for ICE, the FBI and the DEA, the LA Times reports.

Some funds would also go to help Mexican law enforcement. Obama believes the bolstered security is necessary because of the drug wars raging in Mexico. He also intends to deploy 1,200 National Guard troops along the border. When he announced that move, he said he’d request another $500 million, but he boosted the request by $100 million to pay for fence repairs and other border infrastructure improvements.

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