President Trump is sending the National Guard to the border because he’s about to wage war on immigrants.
At least, that’s the impression you’ll get from most mainstream media coverage this week. Anytime the words “Trump” and “troops” are uttered close together, bosses at CNN and the New York Times break into a cold sweat.
Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that President Trump will sign a proclamation to deploy the National Guard along the US-Mexico border. The number of troops involved and for how long is yet to be determined. The National Guard will “serve as an immediate deterrent” to illegal immigration by supporting US Customs and Border Protection personnel.
One Homeland Security official made it clear that National Guard troops will not make physical contact with immigrants at the border. They’re not allowed to. Federal law prohibits the military from civil law enforcement, including immigration law.
They will primarily assist Customs and Border Protection with air surveillance and camera monitoring. In other words, the kind of stuff a lot of Americans think we should be doing instead of wasting money on a wall.
Both Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey applauded the President’s decision yesterday, saying they welcome the support. California Governor Jerry Brown, on the other hand, has not commented, even though his state needs all the federal help it can get its hands on.
Still, that’s a pretty irrational thing for the President to do, right? Amassing troops on the border? Who does that? Well, the last two presidents did.
In June 2006, President George W. Bush deployed 6,000 National Guard troops to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. President Obama did the same in July 2010, deploying 1,200 troops. Both operations provided surveillance, arrest and drug bust support for a combined cost of $1.3 billion.
So, major border operations in 2006, 2010 and now 2018. Interesting. All three happened during mid-term election years. Huh. What an amazing coincidence.
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