WHITE HOUSE (AP) In a primetime speech, President Bush confirmed he'll send 6,000 National Guard troops to help police the Mexican border. Bush said the Guard will support the Border Patrol, and will not get directly involved in law enforcement.
National Guard troops assigned to help along the border with Mexico would be more likely to drive supply trucks than chase down illegal immigrants.
White House homeland security adviser Fran Townsend says the Border Patrol will handle apprehending and detaining illegal immigrants and the Guard will continue in a support role. The National Guard already provides support to law enforcement agencies on the border, although in small numbers.
Officials say their duties will include training federal Border Patrol guards, building barriers near the border and providing communications systems and transportation.
The 6,000 Guardsmen tapped for border-related duty will come from the four border states: California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The governors of those states can request additional help from other states.
Meantime, President Bush says technology will play a large part in securing the nation's border with Mexico.
The former Texas governor says he knows how difficult and important it is to secure the border.
Bush called for Congress to provide funding to pay "dramatic improvements" in technology.
He said the improvements should include "high-tech fences in urban corridors," motion sensors, infrared cameras and "unmanned aerial vehicles."
Bush said the U-S has "the best technology in the world" and that it should be put to use to help the Border Patrol carry out its mission.