President Trump will sign a proclamation Wednesday for the deployment of National Guard troops along the southern border with Mexico in a bid to cut down on illegal immigration.
Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said Trump’s order would direct her department and the Pentagon to work with governors of the states along the southwestern border.
Speaking at the White House, Nielsen said, “Our current border security and immigration laws fail the American people. The system rewards bad behavior. It does not punish lawbreakers. It undermines our nation’s economic interests.”
She said the National Guard troops would be deployed as quickly as possible and gave no indication of how long the mission might last. Asked how many troops would be involved, Nielsen declined to give a number, saying, “As many as is needed to fill the gaps today.”
Trump indicated Tuesday that he wanted the troops to secure the border.
“We’re going to do some things militarily,” Trump said. “Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military.”
“That’s a big step,” Trump continued, “we really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before.”
However, the move actually has many precedents. Every president since Ronald Reagan has called on the National Guard for limited, temporary missions along the frontier.