Beefing up border patrol
A senior administration official tells NBC News the president will announce tonight his plan to authorize the use of about 5,000 National Guard troops or up to two percent of the overall force strength of the Guard for a period of about two years along the southern border. The president will also detail a plan aides describe as a "dramatic increase" in U.S. border patrol agents beyond what Congress has considered. The Guard would be tasked in a "supportive role" until those new border agents become available." Aides stress the Guard would not engage in law enforcement but would perform surveillance, transportation and construction duties.
The plan will likely include using a rotation option of National Guard training on border duty so Guardsmen from around the country could serve along the border while meeting their annual training requirements.
Those on border duty would be likely pulled from states beyond the four border states. Advisors say in response to some critics the plan would not take Guardsmen straight from the battlefield in Iraq.
Read more from Kelly O'Donnell
Pentagon releases Guard plan
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