President Trump Says He Will Use the Military to Help Guard the Border

Public domain image via CBP Flickr photostream

 

At a White House meeting earlier today involving the leaders of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, President Trump announced that he intended to use U. S. troops to assist in securing the border until the border wall with Mexico is built. (No word if Jim Acosta shouted the off-topic question or not.)

Via Politico:

“We are going to be guarding our border with our military. That’s a big step,” Trump said during a session at the White House with the leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. “We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing and, by the way, never showing up for court.”

Word is that the Defense Department isn’t keen on the idea (for a lot of very good and very bad reasons) but it is safe to say Homeland Security, in particular, the Border Patrol, are fine with it.

Some of this was obviously in direct response to the convoy of Central American migrants marching north through Mexico with the intent of crossing into the United States. Via The Washington Times:

“We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and by the way never showing up for court,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. “If it reaches our border, our laws are so weak and so pathetic … it’s like we have no border.”

The issue here is that the Central Americans, if they manage to get a toe across the border, have a better than average chance of staying here. We can’t send them back to Mexico because as OTMs (Other Than Mexican), Mexico refuses to take illegals that passed through their territory. So they will be apprehended and probably given a court date to show up for an immigration hearing…which they’ll never adhere to.

I don’t think there is any doubt that the military can be used to patrol the border. We have done this for some years. And the Esequiel Hernandez case is a reason why Defense wants nothing to do with this mission. There is no problem with the Posse Comitatus Act as this is a security, not a law enforcement, operation. Even were that the case, we’ve shown that law is easy to get around. Assigning, for instance, a single Coast Guard officer to a US Navy destroyer allows that single officer to stop boats smuggling drugs and arrest lots of people. Assigning a single Border Patrol agent to an infantry company could work the same way.

Right now there is no scheduled date for a rollout of this new program. I suspect that Trump announced it to get it into play so the bureaucracies can’t study it to death. Of course. just because it was announced doesn’t mean it will ever happen.