What the National Guard can actually do at the border

When President Trump spoke at a news conference with the presidents of the Baltic nations Tuesday and said, "We are preparing for the military to secure our border between Mexico and the United States," he set off a firestorm among his critics.  Former president of Mexico Vicente Fox presumed (at least for public consumption) that the measure was an expression of hatred and would cause a "conflict."



Wednesday, Homeland Security's Secretary Nielsen specified that the military involvement would be the National Guard, who are no strangers to deployments at the border.  The White House noted that the Guard is returning:

In 2012, President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of guardsmen to the border.  President George W. Bush also authorized deployment of 6,000 guardsmen to the border as a part of Operation Jump Start, assisting in operations which resulted in the arrest of more than 173,000 illegal aliens, the rescue of 100 persons, and the seizure of more than 300,000 pounds of drugs.

Perhaps "somebody has to talk some sense" into Vicente Fox, who was president of Mexico during President Bush's deployment of the Guard to his border.  While media and Democrat hysteria continues to be expressed, most border state governors are pledging cooperation, and as the actual plans are being revealed, the threat of "militarization of the border" seem wildly overblown.  The Guard will be limited to support functions, freeing up the Border Patrol professionals to actually protect the border from intruders.

Border Patrol agents observe an unnamed Arizona National Guard soldier training for Operation Copper Cactus at an undisclosed location on Aug. 25, 2010 (photo credit: DOD).

Writing at Breitbart, John Binder provides a preview, based on an interview with retired immigration judge Andrew Arthur, of what likely will be the role of the Guard and what it means for policy:

The National Guard, Arthur says, has the authority to construct the tents on the border, giving immigration officials temporary detention centers where illegal aliens and border-crossers can be housed while they await their immigration trials, rather than being released into the U.S.

"Putting up temporary structures, that's part of what the military does," Arthur told Breitbart News.  "I believe they could do this as part of their training."

This would effectively counter the detestable omnibus spending bill that passed recently cutting money for detention centers and thus forcing more "catch and release" of border violators.

While border-crossers are detained in the tent cities constructed by the military, the Trump administration could send additional immigration judges and staff to the border, as well as more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorneys.  This, Arthur says, would speed up the court process and swiftly lead to border-crossers either being allowed to stay in the U.S. or being deported.

A.G. Sessions has already announced quotas of 700 cases per year for immigration judges, and while the prospects of adding more judges are yet to be publicly discussed, I suspect that this is a high priority.

This won't "solve" all the problems, but it certainly will help curb the invasion.

At least the hysterical reactions now look foolish.