Earlier this week, President Trump announced that until a border wall was completed between the United States and Mexico, he was assigning military personnel to support the security mission. The declaration by the President is not without precedent, and also not without controversy.
While Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown was the first governor to refuse to commit troops, 150 Texas National Guard Soldiers, some flying to the border in Lakota helicopters, were among the first to arrive to augment Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel. According to ABC News the Texas Guard Soldiers join “100 Texas guardsmen who have been supporting previous border security operations in the area.”
Arizona also has plans to send 150 National Guard Soldiers to stand up the effort while Nevada’s governor has taken sides with Kate Brown in refusing to commit troops. Arizona and New Mexico have welcomed deployment of the Guard along the southwest border as a matter of public safety.
California’s Gov. Jerry Brown is still on the fence regarding troops deployment, but as of this morning has not openly refused to send guard troops to the border. His stance on immigration has been mixed over his two governorships. In 1975, Gov. Brown refused to help Vietnamese immigrants who had arrived in his state and who were being temporarily housed at Camp Pendleton. He viewed the new immigrants as a huge liability. It wasn’t until Washington’s Gov. Dan Evans sent his Secretary of State to California to say, “The citizens of Washington State will take these people and give them a home.” Forty-plus years later, it seems as if Gov. Brown is trying his best to make up for his cold heartedness in 1975, by turning California into a Sanctuary State for illegal immigrants.
As a matter of precedent, President Geo. W. Bush deployed some 6,000 U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border and President Obama required another 1,200 troops to support border security in 2010.
Most National Guard units are awaiting orders and guidance on the new directive. Troops who report for duty along the border will be in a support role only. Here are the guidelines:
The president can legally utilize the Guard though two legal statues: Title 32 or Title 10.
Title 10 of the U.S. Code federalizes the Guard and gives the president full control of the troops. Federalized Guard troops may be deployed anywhere in the world.
Under Title 32, Guard troops may be used within the continental U.S. to perform homeland defense activities. The federal government pays for the costs of the operation, but the governor retains ultimate command and control of the troops.