Amid ongoing controversy about the proposed border wall, construction and illegal aliens, President Trump recently indicated he is ready and willing to send American troops to the south to guard the border. In a recent statement, President Trump said that he wants to guard the southern border of the US until the wall is complete.
The wall is still in its infancy. There are prototypes for the president to chose from, but it is years from completion. The presence of US military troops could help protect the border until construction is complete. This statement reveals the president’s commitment to border safety and a potential escalation in the ability and effort to eliminate illegal immigration from the south. According to President Trump, he has been discussing this proposal with James Mattis, his Defense Secretary.
“Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with the military,” Trump said. “That’s a big step. We really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before.”
In the past weeks, President Trump’s mounting frustration with the wall project and the slow progress has been visible in the news and on Twitter. Protecting the United States with a border wall that clearly separates the US and Mexico and prohibits immigration except through legal channels was a hallmark of his 2016 campaign.
While the president has long spoken of the wall and even viewed recent prototypes, he is still far from completing this project. A recent request for additional funds went unanswered in Congress. So far, only $1.6 billion of the needed funds have been provided to enhance border security — with the caveat that the money could not be spent on the actual wall. While he has significant public support for the project, Congress continues to be an obstruction, delaying or refusing funding for one of the president’s primary objectives and promises, the border wall.
While sending the US military to defend the wall is unusual, it has happened in the past. In 2006, George W. Bush sent troops, a total of 6,000 National Guardsmen, to safeguard the border. At that time, more trained border agents were needed, so the military took on the task of guarding the border as a temporary measure while these new hires were trained.
In 2010, then-President Barack Obama did the same, deploying 1,200 National Guard troops to assist the overburdened and overworked (and sometimes outmatched) border patrol.
There are limitations on the troops that can be sent to defend the border. Both past presidents deployed non-active duty military, but the National Guard. This is because of a regulation reaching back to 1878, which does not allow active military to enforce domestic laws. The National Guard is designed to assist with support and defense instead of the active duty military.
While President Trump has the support of the public, both his own base and many independents, lawmakers disagree with the idea of sending troops, citing the possibility of increased tensions with Mexico.
“I don’t feel really comfortable with the idea of deploying military troops and creating the possibility for an increase in violence and an escalation of the conflict,” Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla) said. Rooney feels the existing process of stopping and vetting the illegals that are found is working.
Trump’s recent comments indicate a return to his original, campaign stance on illegal immigration and his recent Tweets support this as well.
A recent Tweet in support of more protection accused Democrats of being obstructionist and willing to “allow open borders, drugs and crime!”
As the battle for the wall continues and the efforts to curtail illegal immigration drag on, the recent comments indicate the President is still focused on this cornerstone campaign promise and that, one way or another, he will continue working to protect he US public. Whether that protection is in the form of National Guard soldiers, an enhanced border patrol or the wall itself remains to be seen, but his recent comments promise commitment and action.
~ Conservative Zone