The Trump administration is not fooling around.
Late Sunday night, Defense Secretary James Mattis quietly approved funding for up to 4,000 National Guard troops for duty along the border with Mexico in preparation for the arrival of the migrant caravan. The entire operation will be paid for by the Pentagon.
In a joint statement, Mattis and homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the decision came after their departments “identified security vulnerabilities that could be addressed by the National Guard.
“Together, the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense are committed to using every lever of power to support the men and women of law enforcement defending our nation’s sovereignty and protecting the American people.
“We will continue to work with the governors to deploy the necessary resources until our nation’s borders are secure.”
Arizona and Texas announced they would send 400 Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the week, in response to President Donald Trump’s call for troops to halt the caravan and end the illegal immigration influx.
“Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!” Trump tweeted about the caravan.
“Every time you see a Caravan, or people illegally coming, or attempting to come, into our Country illegally, think of and blame the Democrats for not giving us the votes to change our pathetic Immigration Laws! Remember the Midterms! So unfair to those who come in legally.”
Trump’s proclamation that directed the use of National Guard troops refers to Title 32, a federal law under which Guard members receive federal pay and benefits, but remain under the command and control of their state’s governor.
The Border Patrol said it caught around 50,000 people last month, more than three times the number in September 2017. Border apprehensions still remain well below the numbers when Bush and Obama deployed the Guard to the border.
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