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524 soldiers headed to Arizona-Mexico border

The White House will deploy 524 National Guard troops to Arizona to bolster security along the Mexican border, federal officials said.

John Brennan, a national security advisor to President Barack Obama, and a host of representatives from other federal agencies met June 28 with Attorney General Terry Goddard and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson before meeting in Phoenix with Gov. Jan Brewer.

The federal officials also pledged to draw up a list of border security benchmarks, and reiterated President Barack Obama’s pledge to ask Congress for $600 million that would pay for 1,000 new Border Patrol agents, according to Goddard.

Goddard said he expected the federal government to complete its benchmarks list within the next several weeks.

“This is not the end of the game. This is just the beginning,” Goddard said of upcoming federal efforts to secure the border. “The urgency of the situation was well understood.”

Obama in May announced that he would deploy 1,200 troops to the border. During a June 3 meeting with Brewer at the White House, he pledged that a majority of those troops would be sent to Arizona.

The meeting was the federal officials’ first of the day, and went from their Tucson meeting with Goddard, Giffords and a number of border-area law enforcement officials to Phoenix, where they met with Brewer.

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