Donald Trump has vowed to use the U.S. military to secure the nation’s southern border with Mexico. During a luncheon with Baltic State leaders, the POTUS blasted NAFTA, calling the agreement a “horrible, horrible embarrassing deal for the United States,” and vowed not to renew the United State’s participation should the nation not adopt laws “like Mexico has.” During his Tuesday comments, CNN reports that Trump promised to utilize the U.S. military to guard the nation’s southern border.
While addressing Baltic leaders, Donald Trump also claimed that the “caravan” of Central American immigrants headed to the U.S. was in the process of being broken up in Mexico. According the Trump, Mexico was able to do thing the United States can’t because Mexico’s laws are “very strong.”
According to the POTUS, he is meeting with Defense Secretary James Mattis to arrange “some things militarily” to guard the border until his promised wall and “proper security” is in place. Calling the move “a big step,” Trump went on to disparage the current U.S. border control and immigration laws, claiming that even when immigrants are caught, they never show up for court. Trump told his captive audience of Baltic leaders that his border security meeting with Mattis would be taking place “in a little while.”
After making his provocative claims, Trump took to Twitter to share a video of his remarks, along with the caption “WE WILL PROTECT OUR SOUTHERN 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.”
When he was later asked to get into more detail about his plans, the POTUS would only say that preparations for the military to secure the United States’ southern border are being planned. This isn’t the first time that Donald Trump has mentioned connecting the U.S. military to securing the nation’s border. Just last week, it was reported that Trump was considering using part of his recently approved military budget to fund the border wall that was the foundation of his 2016 presidential campaign.
Beginning on Easter Sunday, the POTUS used his Twitter account to blast Democrats, Congress and border security. In one tweet, he referenced the United States’ “catch and release” immigrant arrest policy, a subject he again touched on during his Tuesday speech.
He also accused Mexico of laughing at the United States’ “dumb” immigration laws and doing very little to prevent unlawful immigration into the U.S.
In the past, Republican POTUS George W. Bush sent National Guard troops to the southern border for two years beginning in 2006. Barack Obama also deployed National Guard troops to guard the border in 2010.
Donald Trump’s Tuesday proclamation reportedly shocked and surprised many Pentagon officials, who claim that they are unsure of the specifics of the POTUS’ plans. In order for the National Guard to be utilized at the border, they would have to be activated by the individual governors of southern border states. If that doesn’t happen, the Defense Department could send federally activated National Guard troops, a process that requires that specific guidelines, including naming an exit strategy, be met.