President Trump wants military to secure border with Mexico

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Baltic leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

"We're going to be doing things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we're going to be guarding our border with the military," he said, calling the measure a "big step."

Posted: Apr 3, 2018 1:08 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Tuesday he wants to use the military to secure the U.S.-Mexico border until his promised border wall is built.

Speaking at a lunch with Baltic leaders, Trump said he's been discussing the idea with his Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis.

"We're going to be doing things militarily. Until we can have a wall and proper security, we're going to be guarding our border with the military," he said, calling the measure a "big step."

"We really haven't done that before, or certainly not very much before," he said.

Trump has been deeply frustrated about the lack of progress building what was the signature promise of his campaign: a "big, beautiful wall" along the Mexican border. He's previously suggested using the Pentagon's budget to pay for building the wall, arguing it is a national security priority, despite strict rules that prohibit spending that's not authorized by Congress.

The Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon and White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on how such a plan might work.

Sending military to the border, in the form of National Guard troops, has been done before. In 2006, under Operation Jump Start, 6,000 troops were sent to the border in an effort to increase security and surveillance. The operation used the National Guard to assist border patrol with non-law enforcement duties while additional border agents were hired and trained.

The number declined during the second year to about 3,000.

Over the two years, about 29,000 National Guard forces participated in the missions, as forces rotated in and out.

The Guard members were used for surveillance, communications, administrative support, intelligence, analysis and, in some cases, the installation of border security infrastructure. Over the two years, more than 30 miles of fencing and 13 miles of road were built, and more than 86 miles of vehicle barriers were installed.

Active duty U.S. troops were not used for the operation since there are prohibitions on using so-called Title 10 troops for law enforcement and similar duties within the United States

Trump's announcement came a day administration officials said they're crafting a new legislative package aimed at closing immigration "loopholes."

Trump also called on Republican lawmakers to immediately pass a border bill using the "Nuclear Option if necessary" to muscle it through, as part of a flurry of tweets on the subject over the last several days.

The president has also been declaring protections for so-called Dreamer immigrants "dead," accusing Democrats of allowing "open borders, drugs and crime" and warning Mexico to halt the passage of "caravans" of immigrants or risk U.S. abandonment of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump has been seething since realizing the major spending bill he signed last month barely funds the wall he has promised supporters. The $1.3 trillion funding package included $1.6 billion in border wall spending — far less than the $25 billion Trump made a last-minute push to secure. And much of that money can be used only to repair existing segments, not to build new sections.

Among the new measures the administration is pursuing: ending special safeguards that prevent the immediate deportation of children arrested at the border and traveling alone. Under current law, unaccompanied children from countries that don't border the U.S. are turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services and undergo often lengthy deportation proceedings before an immigration judge instead of being immediately deported.

The administration is also pushing Congress to terminate a 1997 court settlement that requires the government to release children from custody to parents, adult relatives or other caretakers as their court cases proceed. Officials complain that many children never show up at their hearings.

The proposals appear the same as those included on an immigration wish list the White House released in October but failed to gain traction during negotiations over the border wall. Such proposals are likely to face opposition from moderate Republicans and Democrats going into the midterm elections. But Trump appears intent on ensuring the issues remain at the forefront of public conversation, even though the spending bill was widely seen as the last major legislation likely passed this year.

Trump's past calls to for the "nuclear option" — changing Senate rules so that a simple majority of 51 votes is needed to advance legislation, instead of the current 60 votes — have been dismissed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell says Republicans will welcome the 60-vote margin if they return to the minority. The current 51-49 Senate split favors Republicans.

Trump announced last year that he was ending DACA, the program that protects young "Dreamer" immigrants and allows them to work legally in the country, but the Department of Homeland Security is continuing to issue renewals because of a court order.

Notably, Trump's favored solution for extending the protections mustered only 39 votes in the Senate, meaning it couldn't have passed even if the rules had been changed.

Trump also warned Mexico to halt the passage of about 1,100 migrants, many from Honduras, who had been marching in a caravan along roadsides and train tracks in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

"If it reaches our border, our laws are so weak and so pathetic," Trump claimed. "It's like we have no border."

These "Stations of the Cross" migrant caravans have been held in southern Mexico for at least the last five years. They began as short processions of migrants, some dressed in biblical garb and carrying crosses, as an Easter-season protest against attacks against Central Americans as they cross Mexico.

The caravan that once numbered 1,150 or more people actually halted days ago in the town of Matias Romero in the southern state of Oaxaca, where participants slept out in the open. After days of walking along roadsides and train tracks, the organizers now plan to try to get buses to take participants to the final event, an immigrants' rights conference in the central state of Puebla later this week.

___

Associated Press writers Elliot Spagat in San Diego; Lolita C. Baldor, Catherine Lucey, Darlene Superville, Lisa Mascaro, Kevin Freking and Zeke Miller in Washington; and Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 594427

Reported Deaths: 7389
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1229681733
Ramsey51530876
Dakota46037452
Anoka41844440
Washington26983283
Stearns22293222
St. Louis17814305
Scott17324126
Wright16121140
Olmsted1326598
Sherburne1175388
Carver1051245
Clay816792
Rice8075108
Blue Earth751941
Crow Wing666990
Kandiyohi657383
Chisago603251
Otter Tail575878
Benton572397
Goodhue478772
Douglas468576
Mower466732
Winona455150
Itasca440556
McLeod425459
Isanti424864
Morrison419860
Nobles408148
Beltrami397859
Steele389315
Polk384968
Becker381153
Lyon361251
Carlton346054
Freeborn342129
Pine329122
Nicollet326443
Brown305840
Mille Lacs305353
Le Sueur293123
Todd282832
Cass274628
Meeker257340
Waseca236522
Martin230932
Roseau209419
Wabasha20643
Hubbard190241
Dodge18543
Renville180543
Redwood174537
Houston172016
Cottonwood165823
Fillmore156710
Wadena156122
Pennington153719
Faribault152619
Chippewa152438
Kanabec145126
Sibley143910
Aitkin135336
Watonwan13329
Rock128419
Jackson121812
Pipestone116026
Yellow Medicine114220
Pope11096
Murray10639
Swift105818
Stevens91511
Marshall88117
Clearwater87016
Koochiching84315
Wilkin81612
Lake81120
Lac qui Parle75322
Big Stone6004
Lincoln5813
Grant5788
Mahnomen5539
Norman5409
Unassigned49593
Kittson48622
Red Lake3987
Traverse3705
Lake of the Woods3273
Cook1660

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 367374

Reported Deaths: 5946
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57696628
Linn20903335
Scott20071242
Black Hawk15825308
Woodbury15141228
Johnson1449883
Dubuque13382209
Dallas1118698
Pottawattamie11140168
Story1062848
Warren577889
Clinton556193
Cerro Gordo541289
Sioux514574
Webster512293
Marshall483275
Muscatine4812100
Des Moines458966
Wapello4305122
Buena Vista424940
Jasper419472
Plymouth401280
Lee376255
Marion363175
Jones299157
Henry292037
Carroll286052
Bremer284960
Crawford266240
Boone265134
Benton256655
Washington253950
Dickinson248543
Mahaska230451
Jackson222142
Clay215725
Kossuth215564
Tama209871
Delaware209741
Winneshiek196935
Page192722
Buchanan191532
Cedar190123
Hardin185743
Fayette185241
Wright184637
Hamilton180249
Harrison179673
Clayton169756
Butler165034
Madison162519
Mills162422
Floyd161142
Cherokee159038
Lyon158241
Poweshiek154934
Allamakee151451
Iowa148924
Hancock148434
Winnebago142631
Cass138654
Calhoun138413
Grundy136433
Emmet134240
Jefferson132735
Shelby130937
Sac130519
Union128333
Louisa128149
Appanoose128049
Mitchell126442
Chickasaw124116
Guthrie121530
Franklin120821
Humboldt119126
Palo Alto112823
Howard104622
Montgomery103338
Clarke100224
Unassigned9720
Keokuk95931
Monroe95229
Ida90635
Adair86532
Pocahontas85522
Davis83524
Monona82730
Osceola78816
Greene77710
Lucas77223
Worth7498
Taylor66012
Fremont6229
Decatur6089
Van Buren55918
Ringgold55824
Wayne53923
Audubon50910
Adams3384
Rochester
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 73°
Mason City
Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 72°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
70° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 70°
Austin
Cloudy
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 72°
Charles City
Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: °
Tracking continued warmth and chances for thunderstorms
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events