Tenn. Governor Dismisses Criticism Of Guard Border Deployment

Nashville (AP) -- Governor Bredesen says he won't heed the advice of a state lawmaker who has called for Tennessee National Guardsmen to be withdrawn from the border with Mexico if they can't engage in armed confrontations.

State Senator Tim Burchett of Knoxville has said that the guardsmen's inability to defend themselves is "a recipe for disaster."

Bredesen said Tuesday that Tennessee-based guardsmen are deployed to the border in a support role for the US Border Patrol and local law enforcement.

The governor said the guard is being used appropriately, as observers, and not as enforcers of the immigration laws.

A standoff between four Tennessee Guardsmen and an unidentified group of armed men along the Mexican border in Arizona last month has raised questions about the rules of engagement for soldiers who were sent to the border.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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