PRESIDENT Donald Trump on Tuesday called for using the military to guard the border with Mexico until his promised wall is built.
Trump said during a lunchtime meeting with leaders of three Baltic nations, that the ‘’wecannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and, by the way, never showing up for court.”
Late Tuesday, after Trump had met with senior advisors and Cabinet officials, the White House released a statement clarifying that the president intended to mobilize the National Guard rather than deploy active-duty troops.
The statement said the move would be part of a broader strategy, including pressuring Congress “to urgently pass legislation to close legal loopholes exploited by criminal trafficking, narco-terrorist and smuggling organizations.”
Even as Trump talked of dispatching soldiers for domestic duty, he repeated a surprise statement he first made last week, at an Ohio appearance, that he was likely to order U.S. troops to be pulled from Syria.
Deploying active-duty troops for domestic law enforcement is prohibited under a federal law known as the Posse Comitatus Act.
Despite Trump’s urgent language, the number of people apprehended crossing the border — generally considered a roughly accurate gauge of illegal crossings — has fallen sharply in recent years and is now at the lowest ebb since 1971, about one-fifth the level of the late 1990s, according to Border Patrol data.