Secretary of Homeland Security Secy Nielsen / Photo: William Moon

Trump plans on deploying National Guard troops to the southern border for border security as soon as tonight.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and Secretary Nielson of Homeland Security focused on the deployment of the National Guard to the US border with Mexico for border security purposes in today’s White House Press Briefing.

national guard troops
Secretary Nielson also implicated DACA as a magnet for illegal immigration, saying that the threat of losing status ushering illegal immigrants to enter “while they can”. / Photo: William Moon
Secretary Nielson also implicated DACA as a magnet for illegal immigration, saying that the threat of losing status ushering illegal immigrants to enter “while they can”. / Photo: William Moon

Secretary Nielson began by stating that “border security is homeland security is national security” and stressed that border security was a non-partisan issue.

After disparaging the illegal drugs, transnational criminal organizations, and illegal immigration that has ramped up in recent months, Secretary Nielson said the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security would be working closely with the 4 National Guard Generals to deploy them to the Southern Border, and that President Trump would sign a proclamation today saying so.

She went on to discuss the “Trump effect”—the “methodical strengthening” of targeting criminal gangs, removing thousands more illegal aliens, removing exemptions of classes of illegal aliens, beginning border wall construction—resulting in a 44% decrease in illegal border crossing in April last year. However, Secretary Nielson mentioned that last month the border crossings went back up to pre-Trump numbers, and thus, stricter regulations were necessary.

She proclaimed that loopholes such as the ‘credible fear’ classification for illegal aliens seeking asylum and increasing numbers of illegal aliens traveling from Central America and as families has formed an incredible backlog that violated American sovereignty.

Secretary Nielson implicates DACA as a magnet for illegal immigration

Secretary Nielson also implicated DACA as a magnet for illegal immigration, saying that the threat of losing status ushering illegal immigrants to enter “while they can”. In addition, she said the urgency of border security was due to April being a high illegal crossing month, as well as increases in smuggler advertising seen by the administration. Congress, according to Secretary Nielson, has been largely unresponsive and ineffective in border security efforts. She again asked Congress to allocate more funds towards detention beds and personnel on the Southern Border, as well as a much larger budget for the border wall.

Although Secretary Nielson was unwilling to specify the duration, cost, or size of the expected National Guard deployment, she stressed that “it will be [a] strong [force]… as many as needed to fill [the gap]”, similar to President Bush’s Operation Jumpstart, a 6,000 strong National Guard deployment to the southern border that lasted a year and a half.

After the White House Press Briefing, Senior Administration Officials held a briefing further providing details on border security. Senior Administration Officials mentioned that the entire process will be a collaboration with border governors, and they will be controlling timeline, specific missions, and actions of the National Guard.

Another Senior Administration Official covered the legislative actions accompanying the border security increases, saying that the White House would be sending Congress a legislation packet regarding securing the border and expediting the return of illegal aliens to their own countries, as well as pushing back on sanctuary cities.

The White House official specifically denounced the Democratic Party, warning them from “decid[ing] to become the party of open borders” by voting against border security issues.

When asked about reducing illegal immigration smuggling and how this deployment would be different from the actions that failed during the DACA debate, a Senior Administration Official claimed that the “more you reduce illegal immigration, the more resources you free up to fill in the blank – reducing court backlog, reducing various claims for immigration benefits—all of this strikes at the heart of smuggling organizations”.

Both Senior Administration Officials focused on cutting down on the number of cartels smuggling both “drugs and humans” alike, and that the issue is a border security one, not an illegal immigration one. To figure out the details of the deployment, Senior Administration Officials have highlighted that they have brought goals and missions to the Department of Defense, who are figuring out the personnel necessary for completing those border security goals. The Senior Administration Officials believe the action will send a message to smuggling organizations that this is not the time to illegally enter the United States.

Grace Jin

Grace Jin is a student at Yale University. She’s a multi-time national champion in debate and is passionate about intersectional politics from the perspective of Generation Z.