Perhaps feeling the heat of being out of the step with the public mood on the Arizona immigration law, President Obama today authorized the deployment of up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border.
President Obama is trying to give the appearance of doing something. Of course, giving the appearance of doing something and actually doing something are entirely different things.
Naturally it begs the question as to how many National Guard will actually be deployed. "Up to 1,200 National Guard" could mean 120 troops or it could mean twelve. But assuming Obama is serious about deploying the maximum number the question is where along the border will they be deployed? Will any be deployed in Arizona? Or will he withhold their deployment unless Arizona repeals SB 1070? Will there be any other strings attached?
It should be noted that in May 2006, former President George W. Bush authorized the deployment of up to 6,000 National Guard troops to the southern border. That is the amount Senator John McCain is seeking. President Obama is authorizing only a fifth of that figure. It is better than nothing but it is still a proverbial drop in the bucket.