Donald Trump: The militarization of the southern border of the United States?

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Through an executive order, the US president asks the national guard to move to the border with Mexico to counteract illegal activities

Donald Trump: The militarization of the southern border of the United States?

Leer en español: Donald Trump: ¿La militarización de la frontera sur de Estados Unidos?

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, signed on Wednesday, April 4, the executive order for the Pentagon along with the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security to present a plan to militarize the border with Mexico using the National Guard. Trump sees the need to "secure the southern border and take other necessary measures to stop the flow of deadly drugs and other contraband, gang members and other criminals, and undocumented to this country," as mentioned in the executive order issued.

In the order issued Trump states that "the situation on the border has reached a critical point" in which "anarchy (...) is incompatible with the security and sovereignty of the American people." Trump assures that the country's security is near a breaking point due to a considerable increase in illegal activity on the border, for the president the flow of "large amounts of fentanyl, other opioids and other dangerous and illicit drugs (.. .) to unprecedented levels "threatens the stability of the country from its southern border.

The US president argued his decision to use the Armed Forces under the argument that they have experience in the management of borders in conflict, since this work has been carried out under the leadership of the Pentagon in other countries where the US military has made presence.

However, it should be clarified that the laws of the United States strictly limit the actions of the armed forces. Federal law prohibits the military from being used to enforce laws, which immediately infers that the National Guard can not be used to enforce immigration law. In the past, the National Guard has carried out support functions such as training, construction and gathering of intelligence to help the border patrol without interfering in their work.

The use of the National Guard has also been deployed by the predecessors of Donald Trump. In 2010, the then President Barack Obama deployed 1,200 troops in order to stop the entry of foreigners without papers and counteract drug trafficking. By then, Arizona had just enacted the law that qualified illegal immigration in the State as a crime. The also Republican George W. Bush used the military route to control the border area with Mexico by using 6,000 troops to build fences and roads between 2006 and 2008. Both ex-presidents at the end of their mandates had removed all the military personnel from border

Mexico's response

Due to the order to militarize the border with Mexico, the Mexican chancellery reported that the government asked the United States "through the official channels to clarify the announcement about the use of the army at the border, as well as the scope of the measure" .

For its part, the Senate of Mexico also responded to the government of Donald Trump, and in a more forceful tone demanded the US president respect to what he described as a "disrespectful and insulting" behavior towards Mexico. The senators demanded respect for the Mexican people and in their pronouncement they asked the Government of Enrique Peña Nieto to suspend bilateral cooperation in migration and organized crime while Trump "does not behave with civility and respect."


Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Translated from "Donald Trump: ¿La militarización de la frontera sur de Estados Unidos?"