“We are going to be guarding our border with the military.” – President Trump to foreign leaders
Hands along the border
Because Congress isn’t coughing up the billions Trump would need to build an actual wall, he’s ordering up National Guard troops to do the job. Even though it’s not entirely clear what that job is going to do.
The president announced his current plan at a meeting with several Baltic state leaders. Who, presumably, don’t have any stake in what’s happening in Mexico.
But because it’s Trump, well, he’s not known for sticking to the talking points. The Twitter points, boy, is he ever racking those up, though.
Is this something new?
Here’s where things get messy, because no: every president since Reagan has mobilized the National Guard to support border security to varying degrees. The largest such activation was in 2006 under Bush, and Obama did a smaller mobilization a fews years later.
Where this gets tricky is that US troops cannot be used to enforce US law. That’s not their job. So any real “guarding” in terms of detention has to be handled by law enforcement agencies already on the border.
The most likely usage of these troops is going to be for logistics and other support, which is what they’ve done in the past.
Where can I send my money?
Difficult posse comitatus issues aside, this is going to be expensive. Not as expensive as building a wall, but still pricey. Somebody/somewhere gets to pay for that. Hellooo taxpayers!
It’s not the worst idea Trump’s had, and if there’s indeed a surge of illegal traffic at the border, this makes sense from a national security standpoint. Except that it’s being done by a racist president playing to his racist base.
Good idea, bad intentions.