An Arizona Republican lawmaker said Thursday that President Barack Obama's decision to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border is just "political cover." 

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), an ardent supporter of his state's controversial immigration law, said in an interview with Fox News that Obama's decision to send 1,200 troops to the border is a ploy to make him look tough on border security.


"We have been extremely disappointed in the Obama administration and I believe his effort to send troops to the border is really political cover to blunt criticism he's facing considering this whole issue, that — Arizona's law catalyzed all of that," he said.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) said she signed the law last month because the federal government has failed to secure the southern border, which has seen an uptick in violence and activity related to drug cartels.

Since then, the Obama administration has been under pressure from Republicans to do more to secure the borders, and from Democrats to pass comprehensive immigration reform. 

The law requires state law enforcement officials to ask for identification from individuals they suspect are in the country illegally, as long as they are stopped for other reasons.

Arizona's senators, John McCain (R) and Jon Kyl (R), have said the decision to send 1,200 troops is a good start, but that the federal government should send 3,000 National Guardsmen and 3,000 additional Border Patrol officers. 

Obama said at his news conference Thursday that his administration began drafting the plan to send the Guard to the border last year and that it was not a direct response to Arizona's law.

Franks said he feared the mission of the National Guard on the border will be too limited, saying they could be "boots on the desk instead of boots on the ground."