President Trump Plans To Send National Guard To The Mexican Border

Anita Gooding
Posted on April 07, 2018, 11:03 am
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President Trump has always been vocal about building a wall at US-Mexico border to prevent illegal Mexican migrants fleecing the border and gaining undocumented access to America. He revealed his strategy for the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this week which includes mobilizing the National Guard, the White House said on Tuesday, after Trump had earlier spoken publicly to reporters about “guarding our border with the military” to stop illegal immigrants. The White House statement was released after Trump met with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other officials on border issues. It gave no details on whether or when Trump’s strategy might be implemented.

The National Guard, part of the U.S. military’s reserve forces, has been used in recent years for surveillance and intelligence on the border, but not direct law enforcement.  The president’s earlier remarks sharpened his recurring anti-immigration rhetoric. He said he wanted to deploy U.S. military forces until his long-promised border wall is built.

On Tuesday night, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Twitter that the caravan “dispersed gradually and at the decision of its participants.” Mexican officials say privately that they believe Trump has exaggerated the caravan’s importance to renew pressure on Mexico over the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

After 14 months in office, Trump still hammers regularly on an anti-immigration theme that helped to energize conservative Republican voters who helped him win the presidency in the 2016 election.

During the campaign, Trump took a firm line on illegal immigration and also sought to reduce legal immigration.

Though efforts made by him so far have not achieved a comprehensive review of the US immigration laws or comprehensive financial means for the much talked about border wall even with the good fortune Republican-led congress to work with. No major legislation was expected before November’s congressional elections.  The Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law on the books since the 1870s, restricts using the U.S. Army and other main branches of the military for civilian law enforcement on U.S. soil, unless specifically authorized by Congress.

There are quite a few precedents worthy of mention where the National Guard has been called into action.

Under Republican President George W. Bush, the National Guard between 2006 and 2008 provided border-related intelligence analysis, but had no direct law enforcement role.

In 2010, President Barack Obama sent National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to U.S. Border Patrol agents.

A senior Republican aide in the U.S. House of Representatives said key lawmakers had not been briefed on the White House plan. The aide said there was no indication that a specific plan had even been formulated yet.

Geronimo Gutiérrez, Mexican Ambassador to the US, said he had talked to the US Homeland Security Secretary Kirsten Nielsen, concerning Trump’s comments about the border and that Mexico has formally asked the US government to clarify them. .

Some members of the Congress said they disagreed with the idea of deploying the military at the border.

In a Twitter post earlier on Tuesday, Trump said the caravan “heading to our ‘Weak Laws’ Border, had better be stopped before it gets there. Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!” Congress is on vacation until next week.

UPDATE: National Guard now deployed

In a Twitter post earlier on Tuesday, Trump said the caravan “heading to our ‘Weak Laws’ Border, had better be stopped before it gets there. Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!” Congress is on vacation until next week.

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Anita Gooding
Political Analyst

My name is Anita, and I'm a UC Berkeley alumna and currently based in Minnesota but from the United Kingdom. I have been actively involved in political reportage since the days of Bill Clinton in the White House and have always kept tabs on political events in the United Kingdom and the European Union at large. I take special delight in covering the activities of frontline politicians in the US and EU I joined the Herald Reporter’s team of correspondents in October 2017 out of my passion for journalism to cover US and EU evolving and trending political news.