Finally, Someone Gets It!
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon is looking at ways the military can help provide more security along the U.S. southern border, defense officials said Thursday, once again drawing the nation's armed forces into a politically sensitive domestic role.
Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, asked officials this week to come up with options for the use of military resources and troops - particularly the National Guard - along the border with Mexico, according to defense officials familiar with the discussions. The officials, who requested anonymity because the matter has not been made public, said there are no details yet on a defense strategy.
The request comes as some Southern lawmakers met this week with White House strategist Karl Rove for a discussion that included making greater use of National Guard troops to shore up border control. The Senate is poised to pass legislation this month that would call for additional border security, a new guest worker program and provisions opening the way to eventual citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.
``The Texas delegation is very concerned about the border and are pushing urgency,'' said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who joined other Texas Republicans in a meeting with Rove this week. He said Rove was ``very forthright'' about border projects that Homeland Security is starting up, its current projects and what the needs are.
Rep. Ken Marchant, R-Texas, who also attended the meeting, said the lawmakers left ``very encouraged.''