National Guard troops to end border mission

June 30, 2008 7:49:44 PM PDT
In just two weeks, a tool used to stop the flow of illegal immigrants will no longer be available.

Congressman Sam Farr enjoyed helping 127 immigrants celebrate their new status as U.S. citizens. Among them, was Christobal Lopez from Mexico.

"I am a citizen now, so I can vote and be somebody in this country," says Lopez.

While Congressman Farr is impressed with this roomful of immigrants who pursued legal citizenship, he is not a fan of Operation Jump Start, the President's two-year effort to use 6,000 National Guard troops on the Mexican border, which ends July 15th.

"They haven't been guarding the border, they've been working on building these anti-vehicle fences, which are way out in the boonies people can still go through them, they just cant drive vehicles through them, and that's what they've been doing," says Farr.

The border state governors, including Governor Schwarzenegger, say the program has been a success and want the troops to remain until the end of the year, at which time the border patrol says it will have reached its target of having 18,000 agents.

Schwarzenegger joined the Governor's of Arizona and New Mexico in signing a letter saying "it is irresponsible to phase out the current support of the National Guard without the infrastructure and full time personnel to fill the gap."

Farr says what the country really needs is comprehensive immigration reform. He believes that next president must deliver on that issue and choosing the next president is now a privilege now in the hands of a growing number of immigrants.

"I want to see a difference. So, I hope my vote will count this year, " says one of the new citizens we spoke to.

Three out of every four immigrants who swore in at today's naturalization ceremony were born in Mexico.


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