BY WILL GORE
AMERICAN BISHOPS have attacked President George W Bush's proposal to send National Guard troops to patrol the United States-Mexico border.
President Bush sent Congress a $1.9 billion (f. 1 billion) request to increase border security. The White House said the money will pay for the first 1,000 of 6,000 new Border Patrol agents to be deployed over the next two years, as well as the temporary deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to the border.
Bishop Gerald R Barnes of San Bernardino, California, Chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Migration said: "The Catholic Church supports the right of a sovereign nation to control its border. As we have stated in the past, however, an enforcement-only approach to this crisis will not solve the problem of illegal immigration.
"I am concerned about the introduction of military personnel because there has not been an adequate public discussion about its implications."
As well as the military controls there has been some suggestion that fences maybe erected along sections of the border.
Tony Snow, a White House spokesman. said: "We don't think you can fence off the entire border but there are places where fences are appropriate."