SAN DIEGO — No boots were seen tromping in the desert sand on Sunday. No commanders were heard barking out orders to their troops. The National Guard, which officials had announced would turn out en masse along the United States-Mexico border over the weekend for sentry duty, was nowhere to be found.
It turns out it will take weeks longer to select, screen and train the 1,200 National Guard troops the Obama administration had said would be deployed on Aug. 1 along the border from California to Texas.
Administration officials explained that the announced date was always a starting point, the beginning of the process of deployment and not the day camouflaged soldiers would begin amassing at the boundary line with their automatic weapons, high-powered binoculars and filled-up canteens…
Doris Meissner, a fellow at the Migration Policy Institute and an immigration commissioner in the Clinton administration, said the number of border guards, no matter how high or which agency they belonged to, would never truly solve the problem of illegal immigration.
“During my time, 10,000 Border Patrol agents was considered the magic number,” she said. “Then it became 20,000. If it grew to 25,000 or 35,000 or even 50,000, that would be marginally better, no doubt. But illegal immigration is an economic issue. It’s a market phenomenon. Legislation that deals with the problem as a whole is the only real solution.”