Understaffed and bracing for a mass arrival of Central American migrants, a U.S. Border Patrol group is saluting President Donald Trump’s plan to send troops to the Mexican border.
“It will increase the certainty of apprehensions and put a dent in cartel profits,” said Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.
Noting that Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama deployed National Guardsmen along the border at various times, Judd expects a seamless integration of duties. If past is prologue, troops would handle surveillance duties and free up Border Patrol agents to step up apprehensions.
“We’ll need at least 2,000 troops,” Judd told FAIR. “That’s the manpower number we’re short.”
As a caravan of some 1,300 Honduran migrants makes its way north through Mexico, Trump challenged the Mexican government to stop the procession.
Judd praised the president’s tough words, but says talk is not enough. “We know the Mexican government is corrupt and takes bribes,” he said. “Human trafficking is a multibillion-dollar industry. Bribes have already been paid.”
Governors and the president both have the authority to send the National Guard to the border.
George W. Bush deployed 6,000 troops from California to Texas in Operation Jump Start, which began in 2006. It was a successful operation, with the National Guard’s presence facilitating the apprehension of 2,296 illegal aliens, 14,000 pounds of marijuana, and 220 pounds of cocaine.
Trump’s discussions Defense Secretary James Mattis suggest that regular military troops could be involved this time.
As the domestic component of the U.S. Army, the National Guard’s job is to control and defend American territory. While they don’t perform immigration enforcement, their presence sends a message to people coming across who shouldn’t be — and would serve as a force multiplier to enable Border Patrol agents to do their job more effectively.
If push comes to shove at the border, America’s illegal-immigration lobby, led by Democrats on Capitol Hill, will have to come clean: Do they support orchestrated incursions of our borders, or our troops? They can’t have it both ways.