Since Congress doesn’t appear too thrilled to grant funds to construct President Donald Trump’s long-promised wall on the Southern border, the commander-in-chief has put forward another plan to keep the immigrants out.
The former reality TV star, who has called Mexicans “criminals” and “rapists” at least twice, has apparently been discussing with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to have the military patrol the U.S.-Mexico border until the wall is completed – which could be a while, since the construction hasn’t even begun despite what Trump claims.
“I told Mexico, and I respect what they did, I said, look, your laws are very powerful, your laws are very strong. We have very bad laws for our border and we are going to be doing some things, I spoke with (Defense Secretary James) Mattis, we're going to do some things militarily,” Trump told the reporters during a luncheon with the Baltic leaders at the White House. “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.”
During his contentious presidential campaign, Trump promised he would make Mexico pay for the “big,” “beautiful” border wall. However, after Mexican government repeatedly refused to do so, he turned to Congress. After he was unable to secure funding, sources claimed Trump was hoping military would finance the structure.
“We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and by the way never showing up for court,” the president added.
Trump telling our Baltic allies that he’s sending the military to guard the Mexican border is a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. You know, that law that stops us from becoming a miltary dictatorship.— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 3, 2018
Even ancient Rome had similar laws—until they were broken.
Tillerson calling Trump a “fucking moron” was proven today when POTUS announced he would use the U.S. military to guard the southern border. It’s illegal and has been since 1887.— PaulMay↩️ (@PaulMayATL) April 4, 2018
Donald Trump just proposed sending the Military to guard the southern border. Can someone please advise this f*cking moron that we are not at war with Mexico? Mexico is our neighbor and our ally—not our enemy.— Ryan Knight #BlueWave2018 🌊 (@ProudResister) April 3, 2018
While this is not the first time Trump has expressed frustration about the country’s apparently “weak border” or displayed his desire for stricter immigration control, his plan to deploy troops on border did reportedly take the Pentagon by surprise.
“We are preparing for the military to secure our border between Mexico and the United States,” Trump later said. “We have a meeting on it in a little while with Gen Mattis and everybody and I think that it’s something that we have to do.”
This is not the first time the talks of sending military to protect border have emerged. However, there is a problem with that.
A president can call on the National Guard to guard the border, but the personnel can’t legally act as law enforcement as the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits using the military in civilian law enforcement – making Trump’s proposal a bit hard to accomplish.
In 2006, National Guard was deployed on border under former President George W. Bush in what is known as Operation Jump. It lasted for about two years, during which more than 6,000 troops were sent to California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas to “repair secondary border fence, construct nearly 1,000 metal barriers and fly border protection agents by helicopter to intercept immigrants trying to enter illegally,” according to the CNN.
In 2010, former President Barack Obama administration deployed National Guard troops on the border to assist Customs and Border Protection officials. However, the program drew severe criticism for being very expensive and ineffective.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Carlos Barria