War of Words in House over "Retreat" Language in Bill
March 9th, 2007 @ 7:35am
by Doug Ramsey/KTAR

A House debate over more troops for the border bogged down over the word "retreat."

Republicans say that's what National Guard troops under federal direction did in a January confrontation.

Lawmaker Ray Barnes wants the state to pay for troops that can stop, detain, and if necessary fire on immigrants. "You fight. That's what the military is for - fighting. How many people do you think you're going to get with a poster that says retreat?"

Democrat Steve Gallardo wants the word removed from the bill. "The idea that you use the word retreat with the same language in terms of our military is very offensive."

Fellow Democrat Kyrsten Sinema says the troops already deployed are handling the situation. "We could be perceived as sending a message to the National Guard that says 'We don't think you're doing the right thing. We think that you are not defending our border.' I think that would send a message of disrespect to our National Guard."

Republicans counter that the federal government has failed to stop illegal immigration, and it's up to the state to act.

The word stayed in and the House-passed the bill.