Undocumented migrants gather along the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego, California before attempting to cross into the US.

President Obama put immigration back on the front burner by announcing today that he’s sending 1200 National Guard troops to the US/Mexico border in an effort to stem drug and migrant smuggling.

Coming weeks after Arizona forced the administration’s hand by implementing a racially charged law requiring all immigrants to carry papers proving they’re in the country legally, President Obama looks to be taking the fight to the Republicans in a effort to show he’s tough on immigration too.

Will the added enforcement put a crimp in smuggling? Probably in the short run, but history has proven that as long as there is a desire to seek a better life, or a desire from a drug hungry society, the suppliers will always find a way to fill the demand.

As ingrained as politics is in the immigration debate, it remains to be seen if the move to place National Guard troops on the border is the first step in a concerted effort at reform or a way to appease the right. Any reform, as the President has indicated, will have to encompass a means to deal with the millions of undocumented already in the country.

Todd Bigelow Photography

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