Thursday, May 23, 2024

Trump wants to militarize the Mexican Border

The White House said Tuesday night that President Trump planned to deploy the National Guard to the southern border to confront what it called a growing threat of illegal immigrants, drugs and crime from Central America.

“We have very bad laws for our border, and we are going to be doing some things — I’ve been speaking with General Mattis — we’re going to be doing things militarily,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday morning, “Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military. That’s a big step. We really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before.”

Speaking to reporters during a news conference with the presidents of three Baltic nations, Trump described existing immigration laws as ineffective, and called for militarizing the border with Mexico to prevent an influx of Central American migrants.

Trump first began raising new dangers posed by immigration in a series of confusing tweets and public statements that started on Easter and continued on Monday. The announcements on Monday and Tuesday appeared to be more about political messaging than practical action since he faced backlash from his conservative supporters over his embrace of a trillion-dollar-plus spending measure that did not fund his promised border wall.

While the active-duty military is barred by law from carrying out domestic law enforcement functions, such as apprehending people at the border, previous presidents have deployed National Guard troops to act in support roles on the border with Mexico. President Obama sent 1,200 in 2010 and President George W. Bush dispatched 6,000 in 2006, while governors of border states have done the same when faced with large inflows from the south.