I happened to catch the question about Mexico during Obama's news conference last night. There have been many loosely worded news stories about how more "troops" will be sent to the border and I kept wondering who these "troops" would be, and how many. I was glad to see that his answer avoided the word "troops."
Do you consider the situation now a national security threat? And do you believe that it could require sending national troops to the border? Governor Perry of Texas — Texas has said that you still need more troops and more agents. How do you respond to that?
OBAMA: Well, first of all, let's focus on what we did today. It's very significant.
We are sending millions of dollars in additional equipment to provide more effective surveillance. We are providing hundreds of additional personnel that can help control the border, deal with customs issues.
Indeed, at least for now it will be 450 federal agents and intelligence analysts, along with all kinds of equipment aimed at detecting gun smuggling.
It's not really a huge initiative, and only uses existing resources. But I do like the fact that it resists the temptation to throw National Guard troops to the border, as President Bush did in 2006 because of complaints about illegal immigration. They weren't trained, had no clear role, and ultimately achieved very little. But they made for a good "get tough" story.