Trump: 'We're going to be guarding our border with the military' until wall complete

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he's calling on the military to guard the ...

Posted: Apr 3, 2018 9:53 PM
Updated: Apr 3, 2018 9:53 PM

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he's calling on the military to guard the US-Mexico border until his long-promised border wall is complete.

"I told Mexico, and I respect what they did, I said, look, your laws are very powerful, your laws are very strong. We have very bad laws for our border and we are going to be doing some things, I spoke with (Defense Secretary James) Mattis, we're going to do some things militarily. 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," he said during a luncheon with leaders of the Baltic states.

He continued: "We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing, and by the way never showing up for court."

Trump has privately floated the idea of funding construction of a border wall with Mexico through the US military budget in conversations with advisers, two sources confirmed to CNN last week. His remarks Tuesday come on the heels of multiple days of hardline immigration rhetoric from the Trump White House, with the President calling on Congress to pass strict border laws in a series of tweets beginning Sunday.

Sending armed forces to the border isn't a new strategy; in 2010, President Barack Obama deployed up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the border and requested $500 million to supplement spending for enhanced border protection and law enforcement activities. President George W. Bush sent personnel down in 2006.

Still, Trump's statement took many Pentagon officials by surprise Tuesday, in that they know of his desire to ratchet up border security, but are not sure what he meant exactly, according to multiple Defense Department and military officials.

To fulfill his wishes, border states could send National Guard activated by their own state governors, an issue long complicated by whether the states or the federal government pay for it. Alternatively, the Defense Department could send either active duty or federally activated National Guard. Federal troops require certain documents and regulations, including an operational requirement, a unit identified, a strategy, and, although perhaps not formal, an exit strategy. That option also requires identifying rotational forces.

Trump also spoke Tuesday about the caravan of migrants from Central America currently moving through Mexico who plan to turn themselves in and request asylum once they make it to the US border. He has demanded a halt to the caravan in a series of tweets.

"If it reaches our border, our laws are so weak and so pathetic -- you (the Baltic leaders) would not understand this 'cause I know your laws are strong at the border -- it's like we have no border," he said.

Trump said he told Mexico "very strongly" that "you're going to have to do something about these caravans."

While he said the US is renegotiating the NAFTA trade deal with Mexico and Canada, he emphasized that border security would have to be part of the deal.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 16041

Reported Deaths: 767
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds103526
Lauderdale74568
Madison74525
Neshoba70742
Jones66331
Scott66112
Forrest59439
DeSoto5538
Leake44712
Rankin4468
Holmes43928
Copiah3154
Jackson30813
Attala30318
Yazoo2864
Newton2824
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Lincoln27029
Monroe26525
Harrison2637
Oktibbeha25314
Lamar2485
Lowndes2309
Wayne2242
Pearl River21131
Pike20411
Adams20015
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Washington1917
Warren18110
Covington1732
Jasper1654
Lee1657
Bolivar16511
Clarke15419
Smith15311
Kemper14711
Lafayette1414
Chickasaw13714
Coahoma1274
Winston1211
Marion1179
Carroll11711
Clay1154
Claiborne1122
Lawrence1061
Simpson1020
Grenada993
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Tate951
Hancock9112
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Wilkinson859
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Webster683
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Walthall610
Humphreys597
Tunica563
Prentiss563
Perry513
Choctaw482
Pontotoc433
Jefferson431
Tishomingo340
Quitman340
Stone310
Franklin292
Tallahatchie291
George261
Greene221
Alcorn181
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 18474

Reported Deaths: 651
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2283118
Jefferson1882103
Montgomery180243
Tuscaloosa81616
Marshall7059
Franklin5768
Lee55234
Shelby52220
Tallapoosa43166
Butler41618
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Morgan2971
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Sumter2267
Houston2235
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Russell1770
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Lauderdale1672
Calhoun1653
Choctaw15310
Wilcox1527
Cullman1501
Clarke1482
St. Clair1311
Randolph1287
Marion12411
Dale1230
Pickens1215
Talladega1175
Limestone1080
Chilton1041
Greene954
Winston910
Macon864
Jackson833
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Covington811
Crenshaw783
Bibb761
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Washington726
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