President Obama said last week that his recent decision to deploy 1,200 National Guard troops to the Mexican border was not a response to Arizona’s controversial immigration law. In fact, the president indicated that the administration began planning the initiative late last year.
Obama also noted that the role of the troops will not be to combat illegal immigration, but rather to assist border guards in their intelligence efforts concerning drug and human trafficking, Fox News reports.
State Department spokesman Philip Crowley reiterated the president’s thoughts, stating that the troop deployment and additional funding are meant to slow the illegal weapons and narcotics trade, and are "not about immigration."
After being asked a question regarding Arizona’s new law, Obama again expressed his concern about the statute, stating that it may create a "patchwork of 50 different immigration laws around the country in an area that is inherently the job of the Federal government."
He said that Republicans only need to meet him "a quarter of the way" to help him push through a comprehensive Federal immigration policy, according to CBS News.
Meanwhile, Senator John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) proposal to increase the number of troops deployed to 6,000 did not garner the 60 votes necessary to be considered by the Senate.