The president vows to send the National Guard to the border until his anti-migration wall can be built. Two recent presidents have made similar moves.
President Trump has suggested he might try to put U.S. troops, apparently National Guard members, on the Mexican border until his anti-migration wall is built, reports USA Today. Saying he has spoken with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Trump said, “We’re going to be doing this militarily … 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.” Congress has blocked funding for Trump’s wall, saying it is unnecessary and likely to be ineffective. President George W Bush sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border under an agreement with the governors of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in 2006.
Those troops supported the U.S. Border Patrol but did not engage in law enforcement for legal reasons. Operation Jump Start lasted about two years. In 2010, President Obama sent 1,200 National Guard troops to the border in an effort to win GOP support for an immigration bill. Republicans insisted that Obama “secure the border” before they would vote to overhaul the immigration system. Trump has become exasperated with bipartisan immigration talks, blaming Democrats for not making a deal. He has stepped up his anti-immigration rhetoric, targeting asylum-seekers from Central America passing through Mexico en route to the U.S. “We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and, by the way, never showing up to court,” Trump said. It’s a policy that the White House has repeatedly criticized, calling it “catch-and-release.”