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Schwarzenegger denies border troops request

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied a Bush administration request to send an additional 1,500 National Guard troops to the border, military officials said Friday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Bush administration this week asked California to send an additional 1,500 National Guard troops to the Mexican border, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger denied the request, two California National Guard officials said Friday.

The National Guard Bureau, an arm of the Pentagon, asked for the troops to fill recruiting shortfalls for the mission in New Mexico and Arizona. But Schwarzenegger said the request would stretch the California guard too thin if an emergency or disaster struck.

The overall deployment for the border mission would remain at 6,000, the guard officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Schwarzenegger's communications director, Adam Mendelsohn, said the governor felt sending more troops was an inappropriate burden on the state and would disrupt the guard's training schedule.

On June 1, Schwarzenegger agreed to send the California National Guard to the Mexican border to help the federal government's effort to control illegal immigration. That ended a 17-day standoff with the Bush administration over whether the state would join the border effort and who would pay for it.

California has committed to putting 1,000 troops on the border by July 31 and has 250 there already.