President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he would order National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border, hours after leading transition policy adviser Ken Blackwell told Fox Business Network that sending troops would show a coherent Trump policy of treating illegal immigration as a national security and homeland security issue, using all the levers of American foreign and domestic power to enact his policy.
The president had been considering deploying the U.S. military to the border as a caravan of Central Americans are traveling through Mexico, approaching the American border. On Tuesday, President Trump announced that until a border wall is built, he believes he should send troops to secure the border, and he was exploring options with Defense Secretary James Mattis. The White House announced late that evening that the president was specifically mobilizing the National Guard to take on this task.
“What we’re seeing is the emergence … of a coherent, unified Trump policy,” Blackwell, who served as a senior adviser on President Trump’s transition team, told Neil Cavuto on FBN. The announcement of sending troops is “evidence that he has pulled together a variety of departments: Homeland Security, the Defense Department, [and] – when he gets his people in at State [Department] – [Secretary-designate] Pompeo,” to coordinate all the levers of power to secure the border.
“He understands that his responsibility is to do two things: to keep America safe, and to create a context where America can prosper,” added Blackwell. The president’s approach to tackling immigration “is unorthodox, but it is becoming more and more clear what his policy is.”
“He does not see the Cabinet departments as being individual fiefdoms of the secretaries who run them,” Blackwell continued, noting how President Trump was requiring several major departments to work together to carry out a policy formulated by the White House. “They are in fact part of an emerging Trump policy where he uses all the tools in a toolbox to get a result.”
Referring to his time as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Blackwell said that over 20 years ago he worked with incoming National Security Advisor John Bolton at the U.N., and he shares Bolton’s view on how to regard this sort of situation.
“We were dealing with 193 nation-states,” he explained. “Those nations wanted folks who respect their borders and they wanted some adherence to the rule of law.”
“This nonsense that’s being perpetuated by anarchists that America should be borderless – and that the rule of law is something that can be turned on and off at will – is something that the Trump administration is going to stop,” Blackwell predicted.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.