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The Collective
Monday, May 15, 2006
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: Bush to Send Up to 6,000 Troops to Border

President Bush said Monday night he would order as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to secure the U.S. border with Mexico and urged Congress to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance at citizenship, as he tried to build support for a major overhaul of the nation’s tattered immigration laws.


The Guard troops would mostly serve two-week stints before rotating out of the assignment, so keeping the force level at 6,000 over the course of a year could require up to 156,000 troops.

Still, Bush insisted, “The United States is not going to militarize the southern border.”

I am not sure what else you would call it. The only wiggle room would be that we aren’t permanently militarizing it.

Based on the summary (I have neither read nor watched the speech), it would seem that he tried to take the middle ground. One wonders if the net effect will be to make no one happy, or to make enough of the middle on this topic happy so as to allow for legislation to be passed.

We shall see.

And wow: the involvement of 156,000 troops. Given the strain on the Guard in recent years because of Afghanistan and Iraq (not to mention places like Bosnia before that), I can’t help but think that this puts an additional strain on those men and women.

More from me later.

Meanwhile, James Joyner live-blogged the speech and has the whole text as well.

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  1. By now it is clear that Bush’s main motivation for these sorts of schemes is to boost his own standing with the public. However, I don’t see how anyone-from the left or right-can look at this as anything other than an ineffectual, shameless PR move.

    Who is he trying to appeal to with this thing? Or has he completely fallen off his rocker?

    Comment by Baol — Monday, May 15, 2006 @ 11:14 pm

  2. Yes excellent speech. Now lets hope the new presidential candidate in Mexico understands what is going on and improves conditions over there. I heard a new party called Accion Por La Justicia is soon to be launched.

    Comment by Accion Por La Justicia — Monday, May 15, 2006 @ 11:52 pm

  3. Bush Immigration Speech Doesn’t Satisfy Critics

    As might have been expected, President Bush’s speech last night on immigration reform, trying to outline a middle ground between the “build a wall and export all the Wetbacks” school and “bring us your poor … huddled masse…

    Trackback by Outside The Beltway | OTB — Tuesday, May 16, 2006 @ 6:04 am

  4. He was talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Comment by dragonlady474 — Tuesday, May 16, 2006 @ 7:01 am

  5. […] in the US requires the learning of English. On balance, it was a fairly moderate speech. I continue to find the deployment of thousands of National Guard troops to be problematic. And, in general, I […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Reacting to the Speech — Tuesday, May 16, 2006 @ 8:17 am

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