SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman says 72 more members of the New Mexico National Guard are being sent to the Mexico border to help Border Patrol agents.
The New Mexico Democrat says the Department of Homeland Security requested the extra troops.
Gov. Bill Richardson says it's a good first step, but what's needed is to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority.
The new Guard members are in addition to 70 others Richardson sent to the region in recent months.
Officials have said the troops focus on observation posts and infrared tools to detect body heat and movement during the night, and do not apprehend illegal immigrants.
Bingaman says strides have been made in reducing illegal immigration, but there's still work to be done in addressing drug-related crime along the border.