Despite any murmurings to the contrary, it remains clear that the president has never swayed from his fundamental positions on immigration to the United States. He always returns to his campaign talking points, as he has done with a renewed vigor throughout recent days.
Among the more recent examples of this trend, the president told reporters on Tuesday that after consultations with Defense Secretary James Mattis, he had decided in favor of sending the U.S. military to our border with Mexico. His announcement to that effect comes as his repeated efforts to put up a wall in between us and our southern neighbor have failed.
Now, speaking to reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Neilsen elaborated on the president’s plans and revealed that he would be signing an order to send the National Guard to our border with Mexico.
‘The President has directed that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security work together with our governors to deploy the National Guard to our southwest border to assist the Border Patrol.’
Nielsen did not specify how many troops would be sent to the border, and she did not specify how long they would be there for or what the cost associated with their deployment would be, either.
It’s against the law for the National Guard to take an active role in detaining those crossing the border. In other words, the president is not moving to impose martial law. What members of the National Guard can do, however, is assist Border Patrol agents in their efforts to apprehend and process those trying to make it into the United States without documentation.
Members of the National Guard have served in a similar role at times under past presidential administrations, but it’s unclear what urgent need demands that they be sent to the border now. As Vox points out, border crossings were documented to be significantly lower in the most recent month for which data is available compared to the months immediately prior to past National Guard deployments.
What this situation could be is yet another where the talking heads on Fox News have been given the opportunity to exert some kind of control over U.S. policy.
Fox & Friends recently ran a report about a large group of migrants that was making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border, setting off a volley of angry tweets from the president about “caravans” of migrants that might as well be invading armies, considering the president’s language.
The group that initially set off the president has since been disbanded, but not before the Fox & Friends spin on the situation could do its dirty work.
Pressed about how Fox & Friends weighed on the president’s decision making in this situation, Nielsen commented:
‘I think what’s true is the President is frustrated. He’s been very clear he wants to secure the border. I think what you’re seeing is the President taking his job very seriously.’
Besides the president moving to send the National Guard to our border with Mexico, another apparent casualty of the president’s continued patronizing of Fox & Friends is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program. He recently asserted that there would be no deal to establish continued protections for those covered by the program, which his administration has moved to end.
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