WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he’s calling on the military to guard the US-Mexico border until his long-promised border wall is complete, reports CNN.
“I told Mexico, and I respect what they did, I said, look, your laws are very powerful, your laws are very strong. We have very bad laws for our border and we are going to be doing some things, I spoke with (Defense Secretary James) Mattis, we’re going to do some things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military. That’s a big step,” he said during a luncheon with leaders of the Baltic states. He continued: “We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and by the way never showing up for court.” Trump embraces his impulses in ever-chaotic Oval Office
Asked to clarify his comments during a joint news conference, Trump said he is “preparing for the military to secure our border” and he would be attending a meeting on the topic of border security with Mattis and others “in a little while.”
Trump has privately floated the idea of funding construction of a border wall with Mexico through the US military budget in conversations with advisers, two sources confirmed to CNN last week. His remarks Tuesday come on the heels of multiple days of hardline immigration rhetoric from the Trump White House, with the President calling on Congress to pass strict border laws in a series of tweets beginning Sunday.
This isn’t the first time there’s been talk of sending US troops to the border.
Under President George W. Bush, a border deployment of the National Guard known as Operation Jump Start started in 2006 and lasted two years. The operation sent more than 6,000 troops to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to repair secondary border fence, construct nearly 1,000 metal barriers and fly border protection agents by helicopter to intercept immigrants trying to enter illegally. In 2010, the Obama administration deployed National Guard troops as part of a border protection plan.
Officials in 2010 said up to 1,200 National Guard troops would be in place along the US-Mexico border for up to a year to assist US Customs and Border Protection with surveillance and intelligence gathering while the agency worked to hire additional staff.