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President Must Stop Robbing Peter To Pay Paul

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"The President Must Stop Robbing Peter To Pay Paul"

Thompson Responds to President's Announcement of Sending National Guard to Border

May 15, 2006 - Today, Congressman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement in response to President Bush's announcement that thousands of National Guardsmen will be assigned to patrol the Southern border:

"This is not the answer that Americans were looking for when they asked for more security on our nation's borders. It's just another instance of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Tasking an already strained National Guard with border security responsibilities is like putting a band-aid on someone who needs heart surgery. We must move immediately to shore up the U.S. Border Patrol and give it the resources and staffing to do its job. The President's budget the past two years has been laughable in the number of agents he has proposed to protect both the Northern and Southern borders. Last year, he only requested 210 new agents. This year, his request was a good 500 less than that mandated by the 9/11 Act.

It also troubles me that we will be taxing the National Guard, when so many units are deployed to Iraq, and those who remain must be ready to respond to hurricane season, which starts in two weeks. Why not do the right thing and fully fund the Border Patrol and develop a comprehensive long-term border security strategy?"

ENDS

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