The leftwing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) responded to news that President Donald Trump is sending National Guard Troops to the Southern Border, claiming the military does not “belong” on the country’s frontiers.
“Military troops don’t belong at the border,” director of the ACLU Border Rights Center director Astrid Dominguez said in a statement Wednesday. “Deploying the military in U.S. communities is a dangerous move, contrary to the fundamental norms of a civil society.”
The ACLU statement did not mention that the administration of President Barack Obama sent the National Guard to the border in 2014 and again in 2015. Nor does it mention that President George W. Bush sent 6,000 significantly more Guardsmen than the roughly 3,000 Trump announced.
The ACLU’s sentiment was echoed by liberal politicians like Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who called having troops at the border “Orwellian,” and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who claimed she would refuse to send her state’s Guardsmen to the border if Trump asked. Trump issued a proclamation asking governors to order their National Guard troops to participate, rather than a federalization order, meaning governors are within their rights not to do so.
CNN took a different tack Friday, claiming not that having U.S. troops at the border would be an “Orwellian” move “contrary to the fundamental norms of a civil society,” but that the troops “may not have much to do.” The same report described the now dispersed “caravan” of more than 1,000 Central American migrants intent on entering the United States without permission, “an annual event to draw attention to the plight of migrants.”
Undeterred, the president moved forward Thursday with plans to deploy 2,000-4,000 National Guardsmen alongside the Border Patrol. It is a move that attracted support from immigration hawks inside and outside the administration.
“The country can’t wait for Congress to pass new laws,” Center for Immigration Studies’ Jessica Vaughan wrote in a Thursday Fox News op-ed:
The president has the authority to use other national security resources, such as the National Guard and the law enforcement resources of states along the border, to prevent illegal breaches of our border. And, we have no obligation, legal or moral, to let migrants enter through the legal ports of entry to pursue asylum claims when they have just been offered safe haven in Mexico.
Dan Stein, president of the non-profit Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) expressed his support in a Wednesday statement. “The deployment of the National Guard and other military resources to the southern border, announced by the Trump Administration, is a necessary, tactical move that will help stanch illegal immigration and secure the border against the threats of terrorism and drug smuggling,” he said. “Illegal alien apprehensions are eclipsing 1,000 persons per day, and this is likely to increase given ongoing talks about amnesty, catch-and-release policies, and rampant abuse of our asylum laws”
“It will be strong. It will be as many [troops] as are needed to fill the gaps today,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen promised Wednesday.
“The President was clear that this caravan needed to be stopped before it arrived at our southern border, and his efforts now appear to be successful,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement about the troops being sent to the border. “But let me be clear as well: we will not accept the lawlessness of these types of efforts and those who choose to violate our laws, and those who conspire to assist others to violate our laws, will face criminal prosecution.”