The president will call for thousands of National Guard troops to augment Border Patrol agents. Democrats point out that National Guard troops are already overextended in Iraq.
President Bush will call for thousands of National Guard troops to be deployed along the Mexico border in support of patrols aimed at keeping out illegal immigrants, a White House official said Sunday on the eve of an Oval Office address announcing the plan.
White House aides worked into the night Sunday to iron out details of the proposal and allay concerns among lawmakers that using troops to man the border would further burden the an overextended military.
A White House official said Bush would propose using troops as a stopgap measure while the Border Patrol builds up its resources. The troops would play a supportive role to Border Patrol agents, who would maintain primary responsibility for physically guarding the border.