Quick, call out the military! We are about to be invaded by 1,500 Hondurans. Make that 1,100 because Mexico has shipped 400 of them back to Honduras.
President Trump has called for 2,000-4,000 National Guard troops to be positioned along the border with Mexico. He is following in the footsteps of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Texas Governor Rick Perry.
In 2006, Bush’s 6,000 troops freed up 581 Border Patrol agents, logged more than 28,600 flight hours and built 130 miles of road, fencing and barriers and repaired more than 1,100 miles of road. Obama’s 1,200 troops performed similar tasks at the border in 2010. In 2014, Gov. Rick Perry deployed 1,000 National Guardsmen to back up the Texas DPS at the border.
Our military is prohibited from performing any law enforcement duties within the United States. Homeland Security and the Pentagon have yet to decide whether the National Guardsmen that Trump wants to deploy will be armed.
The Bush and Obama deployments cost a combined total of $1.3 billion. I haven’t been able to determine the cost of Perry’s deployment, but it appears to have been a complete waste of taxpayer money. As for Trump’s planned deployment, no one knows how long the National Guard will stay at the border and how much that will cost.
Of course, the Democrats are up in arms over Trump’s deployment of the National Guard, calling it nothing more than a political stunt.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has advised the president she will not contribute any Oregon National Guard troops to Trump’s deployment. And since California is officially a ‘sanctuary city’ state, I doubt that Gov. Jerry ‘Moonbeam’ Brown will allow any of his state’s National Guardsmen to be deployed along the Mexican border.
So what will Trump’s planned deployment accomplish? As in past deployments, the troops will release some Border Patrol officers for law enforcement duties who are not now engaged in the field. They will conduct aerial surveillance. And they will do construction work.
Is this deployment really necessary? I doubt it. It may slow down the illegal border crossings somewhat, but when the deployment ends, all will be the same again.
The deployment is much to do about nothing. It will cost the taxpayers a bundle. It will cause some disruption to the businesses the guardsmen work for. But worst of all, it will unnecessarily disrupt the lives of the deployed National Guardsmen.