Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Donald Trump Proposes Guarding Southern Border with the Military

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in the East Room of the White House Tuesday Trump: deploy military at US-Mexico border until wall built
| 04 April, 2018, 02:09

President Donald Trump wants to send the USA military to guard the southern border with Mexico "until we can have a wall", he said Tuesday while speaking to reporters at the White House.

Making his remarks during a lunch meeting at the White House with the presidents of Baltic nations, as Gen. James Mattis sat beside him at the table, Trump said, "I've been speaking with Gen. Mattis". (Others plan to stay in Mexico.) Deploying the military to the border would not be an effective way to deter asylum-seekers, since they could still follow through with their plan to go to official United States border crossings to apply for protections from persecution. Mr. Trump, who has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House, also said it would be great if the US had a good relationship with Russia - but he doesn't know if that's possible.

Part of the conversations included discussions about possibly using government money approved for the Pentagon on the construction of the border wall - a desire of Trump's that faces exceedingly long odds given the nature of congressional appropriations. He's previously suggested using the Pentagon's budget to pay for building the wall, arguing it is a national security priority, despite strict rules that prohibit spending that's not authorized by Congress.

"I said (to Mexican officials), 'I hope you're going to tell that caravan not to get up to the border.' And I think they're doing that because, as of 12 minutes ago, it was all being broken up", he said.

State lawmakers committed a year ago to carry on spending, despite Trump's election, the decrease in unauthorised border crossings and the reality that many migrants surrender to USA officials as soon as possible in order to seek asylum. The White House did not immediately answer questions about Trump's tweets.

"We have been conducting serious negotiations", he said, according to Agence France-Presse.


Trump also warned Mexico to halt the passage of thousands of migrants, many from Honduras, who had been marching in a caravan along roadsides and train tracks in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

The letter from Reed, of Rhode Island, and Durbin, of IL, comes on the heels of reports that Trump suggested the idea to "several advisors" after being disappointed by the amount of money allocated for border security in the $1.3 trillion omnibus.

Currently, officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection enforce security within 100 miles of any point along the U.S. border, encompassing major cities along the southern border including San Antonio and El Paso in Texas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Tucson, Arizona; and San Diego, California. Operation Jump Start, as it was known, lasted about two years. The current march is scheduled to end this month with a conference on migration issues in the central Mexican state of Puebla, east of Mexico City. This is not new as "caravans of immigrants" have become an annual event meant to showcase the Central American refugee crisis. NAFTA's been fantastic for Mexico, bad for us. "Pretty much everybody agrees to that, except very stupid people".

The President's comments appear to take aim at current United States policy which requires border agents to catch then release family units who arrive at the border from noncontiguous countries.

As the Military Times explained, previous presidents have resorted to similar measures when securing the border.

Then in 2010, President Barack Obama sent 1,200 National Guard troops to the border in an effort to win GOP support for an immigration bill.

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