AZ Sheriff: More Troops on Korean Border than U.S.-Mexico Border

Posted: Jun 21, 2011 11:55 AM

Arizona Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, a leading voice in the fight to secure the Arizona border with Mexico and in combatting illegal immigration, is wondering why there are nearly 28 times more troops on the border between North and South Korea than there are on the U.S.-Mexico border. President Obama has extended the time National Guard troops will stay on the border, however, the number of troops provided to secure the border is still not substantial.

Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu said the Obama administration’s decision to extend the deployment of 1,200 U.S. National Guard troops along the U.S. border with Mexico until Sept. 30 is “pandering” and that those numbers “fall far short” of what military power is needed to keep the country safe.

Babeu noted, for comparison, the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea to help defend it against North Korean aggression; U.S. troops have been stationed in South Korea for 58 years.

“What are we doing?” Babeu told by telephone. “We need 6,000 armed soldiers on our border to protect America. Homeland Security starts at home.” He was talking about the National Guard.

Babeu said that only 520 guardsmen are deployed in Arizona, a state with a 276-mile border with Mexico and the state that has, according to the Department of Homeland Security, the greatest influx of illegal aliens. In 2010, approximately 212,000 illegal aliens were seized in the Tucson sector of Arizona – or 47 percent of all illegal aliens taken into custody.

“The gravest national security risk that we face is right here with the unsecure border with Mexico,” Babeu said. “Right from the beginning, these 1,200 [National Guard] soldiers fall far short from what’s really, truly needed to achieve a secure border.”

Babeu said that 6,000 troops should be deployed along the U.S.-Mexico border: 3,000 in Arizona and 1,000 in each of the three other border states for a two-year period.

The federal government should do its job by giving Babeu the number of troops requested. As Babeu said, to do otherwise is simply political pandering.