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Trump says he will use military to protect USA border with Mexico

Trump says he will use military to protect USA border with Mexico

President Donald Trump is ripping a page from the Obama playbook in planning to send us troops to the southern border with Mexico.

He's calling it a "big step".

The move is not entirely unprecedented - former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama previously deployed thousands of National Guard troops to the southern border during periods with an increase in border crossings. He further added that he discussed the matter with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. US law bars active-duty military from apprehending and arresting people at the border, so troops largely aided with surveillance efforts, passing along information to border patrol agents who have the authority to detain incoming migrants.

"The big Caravan of People from Honduras, now coming across Mexico and heading to our "Weak Laws" Border, had better be stopped before it gets there", Trump tweeted early Tuesday.

Trump has also demanded Mexico break up the caravan of hundreds of Central Americans traveling to the U.S. The President had threatened to end the NAFTA agreement if the Mexican government did not stop the caravan and to end US aid to Honduras.

Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 ranking Democrat in the Senate, said on Twitter: "I'm not sure which country he's getting his inspiration from, but here in the United States, the President does not have the legal authority to use the women and men of our Armed Forces for his own personal boondoggles". That operation followed on the 2010 deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops to areas along the Texas and Arizona border areas. "We'll see what happens", he said.

USA presidents have ordered National Guard forces to the border in the past.

They built infrastructure such as roads and fences and conducted surveillance on the ground and in the air, but left it to the border patrol to make arrests - because of the troops' lack of expertise in border enforcement and limits on the tasks that active duty military forces can perform domestically.

Some members of Congress said they were uncomfortable with the idea of using the military at the border.

According to a BuzzFeed report, the caravan was organized by People Without Borders.

On Monday, the Republican president railed against Democrats over immigration and again pressed US lawmakers to pass legislation to build his long-promised border wall between the USA and Mexico.

Despite months of efforts, no immigration deal has emerged in the Republican-led Congress, where lawmakers are not expected to pass much major legislation ahead of November's midterm congressional elections.


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