U.S. military troops are heading to the border as President Donald Trump said Tuesday afternoon he wants to deploy them to protect the Mexican border while the new border wall is built.
Tuesday evening, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement saying the “vigorous” administration strategy includes mobilization of the National Guard.
The White House statement came after Trump met with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford and chief of staff John Kelly, Sanders said.
“We are going to be doing some things — I’ve been speaking with (Defense Secretary) Mattis — we’re going to be doing things militarily”, Trump said at a White House meeting with the leaders of Baltic countries.
“Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military,” Trump said. “That’s a big step. We really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before.”
Mexico’s Ambassador Gerónimo Gutiérrez wants Trump to clarify his comments.
“We have formally requested a clarification on the President’s comments from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security,” Gutiérrez said in a statement. “We share the idea of having a secure border, but we do not always agree on how to achieve that goal. Mexico, naturally, will always act in accordance with our own interests.”
But while President Trump could order active duty military personnel or federalized National Guard troops to assist with border security operations, they would not be allowed to carry out law enforcement duties like detaining migrants crossing the border illegally.
That’s because the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the U.S. military from conducting law enforcement duties in the United States. The only way that can be allowed is by a special congressional authorization.
In the past active military and National Guardsmen have performed duties at the border under both Presidents Clinton and Bush.
To read the entire article from ABC News, click here:
Photo courtesy Wikipedia