President Donald Trump has made his frustrations with Congress over its lack of action on passing stricter immigration laws clear.
He has decided to take matters into his own hands and as part of his illegal immigration crackdown, he will be deploying U.S. troops to guard the southern border until the wall is built.
“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,” said Trump to reporters while next to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis.
The president’s plans to safeguard the border have been delayed by lawmakers.
“The president’s latest proposal comes as he faces mounting pressure from his base to secure a policy win on immigration after lawmakers ignored his plea for $25 billion in wall money,” writes The Hill. “Trump received just $1.6 billion for border fortifications in a recent government funding bill, and most of that money cannot be used to build new portions of the wall. The president has previously suggested that the Pentagon could redirect funding to pay for the wall, but such a move would require congressional approval that the president would likely not receive.”
Trump continues to relentlessly argue that we need stricter laws in place now to protect the border.
“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,” said Trump during a luncheon with leaders of the Baltic states. “We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and by the way never showing up for court.”
The decision to move U.S. troops to safeguard the border comes after thousands of migrants from Central America marched to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump sent a series of tweets earlier this week claiming this is exactly why we need a wall.
“The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our ‘Weak Laws’ Border, had better be stopped before it gets there,” tweeted Trump. “Cash cow NAFTA is in play, as is foreign aid to Honduras and the countries that allow this to happen. Congress MUST ACT NOW!
Mexico quickly responded to his demands to detain them before hitting the border.
“I said, ‘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,” said Trump Tuesday afternoon.
Deploying the troops is just the beginning.
On Wednesday, the day after the White House announcement to move the troops to the border, Trump said the White House plans on taking strong action yet again.
“Our Border Laws are very weak while those of Mexico & Canada are very strong. Congress must change these Obama era, and other, laws NOW! The Democrats stand in our way – they want people to pour into our country unchecked…CRIME! We will be taking strong action today,” tweeted Trump.
Trump also isn’t the first president to deploy the military to the border either.
“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,” writes CNN. “In 2010, the Obama administration deployed National Guard troops as part of a border protection plan.”
Author’s note: Trump is keeping up his campaign promise to secure the border. If the stricter immigration laws aren’t being put in place, at least Trump has the power to deploy more resources.