WASHINGTON, May 25 (UPI) -- An Arizona congresswoman said Tuesday President Barack Obama would send the National Guard to the Mexican border in an attempt to stem illegal crossings.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., said Obama plans to authorize deployment of up to 1,200 troops to the southwestern U.S. border and will make a request for $500 million in supplemental funding for border law enforcement.
"The White House is doing the right thing," said Giffords. "Arizonans know that more boots on the ground means a safer and more secure border. Washington heard our message."
Giffords did not reveal any details as to when and where the Guard would be stationed along the border or if they would take an active role in detaining immigrants.
A perceived surge in illegal immigration in recent years has been cited as the reason Arizona voters passed SB 1070, the controversial law requiring police to check the immigration status of individuals they suspect are in the United States illegally.
Giffords called for deploying the National Guard in late March after rancher Rob Krentz was shot to death in an apparent encounter with an illegal immigrant on his remote Cochise County property.