Obama delegation in TucsonPosted: Updated:
President Obama's delegation met in Tucson Monday with state and local law enforcement officials on the front lines of the immigration issue, but the tone here was much more optimistic than Gov. Brewer's.
Securing Arizona's border with Mexico was the focal point of a discussion in Tucson today with the President's Deputy National Security Adviser, and 70 members of the southern Arizona's law enforcement and legal communities.
"The President's adviser was here to listen to folks, and to get an idea exactly what's needed. And from that he promises that he will put together a plan to focus on the real problem," says Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.
For many federal and local officials, that plan calls for National Guard Troops at the border.
Today, we now know Arizona will receive 524 troops.
"We are very pleased that the president heeded our calls, and that they will be deploying those troops. They are training now and they should be arriving in August," says Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
She says their role will be to patrol desert areas between the different ports of entry, and serve as liaisons to the Border Patrol.
As for whether they'll be armed, "There needs to be rules of engagement, and the National Guard needs to be armed and able to protect themselves. That being said, a lot of those details have yet to be presented," says Giffords.
Reaction to the news on the street was mixed.
"Well that's probably good, but I think that's a drop in the bucket at best," says resident Chris Hamilton.
"Increasing the troops I think really isn't going to fix the problem," says resident Anne Hudson.
Giffords and Goddard agree there needs to be immigration reform, but the national guard is part of the border-security plan, and even they say 524 troops is not enough.
"This is a start. And it's a good start. And it shows a significant degree of attention being paid by the top advisers to the president," says Goddard.
Advisers who still have yet to reveal a border security time line and an overall plan.