The Democrat and Republican Left believes that American troops should be able to defend the borders of every country… except our own.
President Trump has been pushing back on that. Usually sending troops to the border is a hollow stunt because the troops can’t do much more than provide some basic support. But this latest memo allows for a very limited use of force.
The White House late Tuesday signed a memo allowing troops stationed at the border to engage in some law enforcement roles and use lethal force, if necessary — a move that legal experts have cautioned may run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act.
The new “Cabinet order” was signed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, not President Donald Trump. It allows “Department of Defense military personnel” to “perform those military protective activities that the Secretary of Defense determines are reasonably necessary” to protect border agents, including “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention. and cursory search.”
There are approximately 5,900 active-duty troops and 2,100 National Guard forces deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border.
The idea that this runs afoul of PCA is nonsense, but that just means that a dozen Fed judges will line up to rule that it is. Even though all of American history says otherwise. But if they do, Trump should set up a security zone in Mexico.
Kelly, I think drafted this carefully so that it could survive legal challenges. It’s not everything we need, but it’s a basic start. It’s like trying to restore the First Amendment by suggesting that newspapers should occasionally have the right to print controversial letters to the editor. But if will move the military deployment into the realm of the increasingly useful and hopefully deter some migrant invaders. More importantly, it’s a building block for further steps to secure the border.