Obama Orders Troops to U.S.-Mexico Border

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WASHINGTON --- After censuring Arizona officials over what he has called a "misguided" immigration law, President Barack Obama is now under pressure himself to crack down on the nation's illegal immigrants.

In an attempt to head off a plan by Republicans lawmakers to require 6,000 National Guard troops along the border, Obama is ordering 1,200 to be deployed.

He is also requesting $500 million to beef up border security.

"I'm elated. This is great news. But it's about time," Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said.

Arizonans say they've been forced to take action on their own, because the federal government hasn't been doing enough about rampant illegal activity along the border.

"It is a recognition of the violence on the border," Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said.

"I believe it is an important commitment of national attention to the real problem that we are facing here in Arizona and throughout the Southwest, and that is the violent crime fomented by the criminal drug cartels," Attorney General Terry Goddard said at a news conference in downtown Phoenix Tuesday.

Arizona officials say that while Obama's plan helps, much more is needed since 1,200 troops means just one more person for every mile-and-a-half of border.

"We need more agents. We need more money to secure cities as well as the border," Gordon said.

Goddard: Treat Them Like the Mafia

"You've got a serious criminal opponent, treat them that way," Goddard said. "Treat them the way they treated the Mafia in the '20s."

Many Republicans have been backing Arizona's crackdown, which, according to a new NBC News poll, may be smart politics.

The poll shows 61 percent of Americans support the Arizona law. Some of those supporters were out protesting at the Los Angeles City Hall.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles City Council voted to economically boycott Arizona until the state repeals its new immigration law.

"This is political hackery at its finest, and the people of Los Angeles won't stand for it," Tea Party activist Tony Katz said. "All colors, all creeds, all sexes -- we're not going to stand for it."

"We want a safe, lawful Los Angeles," he said. "We believe in a safe and lawful Arizona. We believe in strong borders, and we believe in a strong America."

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.