This week, Trump announced that he wants to deploy more military units to the border to intimidate asylum seekers and discourage them from trying to enter the country. Trump even said he wished that the military was allowed to get “rough” with immigrants. But the reality is that the troops already deployed to the border are likely wasting their time doing things like moving cargo and filling out paperwork, because our military is barred from enforcing U.S. domestic law without Congress’ approval. Trump needs to take some time to learn what our military is actually allowed to do, and stop wasting resources and exploiting service members for political gain.
Trump announced this week that he wants to deploy more military personnel to the border.
CNN: “Though a plan to add more troops to the border has not been announced, acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan was summoned to the White House late Tuesday to discuss the situation at the southern border shortly after his return from Colorado, according to two US defense officials. On Wednesday, Shanahan seemed to telegraph something could be coming with troops traveling to the border when he was asked whether he envisioned multi-year deployments to the border will last longer than 2019.”
Trump wants to send more service members to the border because he thinks they can be “rough” with immigrants and “act like a military would act”…just like in the movies.
Business Insider: “President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressed frustration the military can’t respond more forcefully, and potentially even violently, to migrants at the border…After speaking with people at a Republican fundraiser in Texas, Trump said, ‘I’m going to have to call up more military. Our military, don’t forget, can’t act like a military would act. Because if they got a little rough, everybody would go crazy.”
Discussions inside the Trump White House have gone so far as to consider using the military to build and run detention camps for asylum seekers.
NBC News: “When some of President Donald Trump’s top national security advisers gathered at the White House Tuesday night to talk about the surge of immigrants across the southern border, they discussed increasing the U.S. military’s involvement in the border mission, including whether the military could be used to build tent city detention camps for migrants, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the conversations. During the meeting, the officials also discussed whether the U.S. military could legally run the camps once the migrants are housed there.”
Despite Trump’s sinister plans, the law is clear that he doesn’t have the authority to do what he wants to do.
Vox: “It’s unclear what laws the president was referencing when he spoke to reporters, but we do know that there are laws in place to ensure a president doesn’t use the US troops the way Trump clearly wants to. Here’s the big one: The US military is barred from using its capabilities directly to enforce US domestic laws — including immigration laws — unless Congress specifically authorizes it to do so. This stipulation, known as ‘posse comitatus,’ is why US troops can only support US border agents, but not take direct action themselves.”