For all those feigning fear and outrage over President Trump sending the military to the border- he isn’t the first. Both George W. Bush and, if you can believe it, Barack Obama sent troops to aid border patrol in 2006 and 2010 respectively.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Trump alluded to sending in U.S. military personnel to secure the border. Seated next to Baltic State leaders, the president said “We don’t have laws. We have catch and release,” in America.
“You catch and then you immediately release, and people come back years later for a court case, except they virtually never come back. So, we are preparing for the military to secure our border between Mexico and the United States.”
Unsurprisingly, the president’s remarks drew criticism from the left. Sending troops to the border is not a new idea. In May of 2006, Bush ordered “Operation Jump Start,” to assist with border security.
As part of that operation, approximately 6000 National Guard members assisted border patrol with surveillance, building a fence, and installing vehicle barriers. Deployed for two years to Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona, the Guard also provided training to CBP.
Four years later, in July 2010, Barack Obama ordered “Operation Phalanx” as a continuation of Bush’s plan. Obama’s executive order authorized 1200 soldiers and airmen to aid CBP agents along the 1,933-mile Southwest border.
Now, it’s important to note that during these operations the military had no authority to pursue or arrest illegal immigrants. The 1878 Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the military from performing tasks assigned to civilian law enforcement.
However, and this is important, the National Guard is exempt and Congress can override the law for other branches of the armed forces.
Talk of securing the border, and the need to build the wall, ramped up this week as a group of illegal immigrants marched towards the U.S. As many as 1500 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, home to MS-13, are trekking through Mexico to the U.S. to demand asylum.
President Trump called out Mexico for allowing the caravan to continue unabated. In a series of tweets, he threatened to end the “cash cow” NAFTA if they didn’t do more to stop the flow of illegals over the border. Texas Governor Greg Abbott deployed the National Guard on Monday.