Latino groups blast Guard deployment

Two major Latino advocacy groups blasted President Barack Obama’s plan to send 1,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the National Guardsmen are unprepared to deal with border issues and that the move will overshadow immigration reform.

“As we have seen time and time again, efforts to overhaul our broken immigration system have taken a back seat to dramatic escalations of border enforcement including placing troops on the U.S. border to serve in a function for which they have not been trained,” said Rosa Rosales, the national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), one of the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the United States.

Obama announced plans on Tuesday to send 1,200 National Guard troops to the border region to provide surveillance support and counternarcotics enforcement in the U.S.’s ongoing attempt to crack down on illegal gun, money, drug and human smuggling operations.

Officials with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) echoed LULAC’s disappointment with the White House’s decision, saying the move is “inadequate” to address the real immigration problems of the region.

“We are on a collision course of enforcement-only policies and, as experience shows, this will not solve the problem,” said Janet Murguía, the president and CEO of NCLR. “The White House must outline a clear plan of action. And Republican leadership must stop playing politics and do its part to solve the problem.”