House Speaker John A. Boehner on Friday called on President Obama to deploy the National Guard to the border to help stem the surge of young illegal immigrant children that has overwhelmed the administration and distracted the Border Patrol from being able to guard against smugglers and other dangers.
“The National Guard is uniquely qualified to respond to such humanitarian crises. They are able to help deal with both the needs of these children and families as well as relieve the border patrol to focus on their primary duty of securing our border,” Mr. Boehner said in a letter to Mr. Obama.
He also urged Mr. Obama to begin negotiations with El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — the three countries responsible for most of the surge — on how to get them to accept their children back quickly.
Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, also demanded the U.S. pressure Mexico to do more on its southern border.
He becomes the highest-ranking member of the government to call for the National Guard to be deployed, and the move will likely put pressure on Mr. Obama as he tries to figure out how to manage the surge. …
Democrats, though, have said putting troops on the U.S. side of the border is the wrong message to sen[d].
“To say we need to put more National Guardsmen on our border to greet children? Fleeing guns and violence, and then confronted with guns on the other side?” Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez said Thursday.
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