Us-mexico border plan, including more troop deployments, hits a wall – news – stripes

But as plans neared the one-week mark since Trump’s directive for states to deploy the troops to the border, much confusion remained. The troops’ mission, the overall states participating, timing considerations and costs still remained largely unclear.

“States are still digesting the proclamation,” said Mark P. Nevitt, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. “Trump’s proclamation to deploy the (National Guard) was not driven by requests from the states for federal funding and support – unlike in 2006 and 2010. This is unique.”

Under Trump’s April 4 memorandum, state governors are in the driver’s seat on whether to deploy National Guard troops to the border or not.

Trump’s request was issued under Title 32 of the U.S. Code, which designates a state-led operation that is federally funded.

“As Commander of Oregon’s Guard, I’m deeply troubled by Trump’s plan to militarize our border,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, said April 4 in a series of tweets. “There’s been no outreach by the president or federal officials, and I have no intention of allowing Oregon’s Guard troops to be used to distract from his troubles in Washington."

So far, the Pentagon has offered some brief details on the operation, saying the troops would provide air support, road and infrastructure maintenance and help operate surveillance systems. The troops will not be conducting arrests, however.

“States can make it harder but they can’t stop the president’s policy,” he said. This is drawing opposition because “it’s symbolic of the president’s immigration policy. It’s going to get some opposition. Under a different president and a different time, these states may have gone along with it.”

The same effort trigged by Trump last week has been used in recent years by former presidents. In 2006, more than 6,000 National Guard members were deployed in support roles to the southern border under Bush, while 1,200 were dispatched under Obama in 2010.

“Each state (National Guard) bureau will work with the federal government” to the scope of the activity, Nevitt said. “But as command and control resides with the state governor, they can limit and define their participation. Those negotiations are likely occurring now.”

The funding will likely come from the personnel budget for the National Guard, which for fiscal year 2018 is about $12 billion, said Andrew Sherbo, a University of Denver finance professor who has tracked government and defense budget issues.

The first wave of 250 Texas-deployed troops began planning for follow-on forces and a wave of 300 troops will report this week to armories for required processing and training before being equipped for the mission, according to the Texas Military Department, which is the military arm for the Lone Star state.

These troops will provide support that will free up Border Patrol agents by assisting with surveillance, operating detection systems, providing mobile communications, assisting with border-related intelligence and providing aviation assets, transportation, training and other missions, the state’s military department said.

Arizona officials said 250 troops were deployed Monday followed by another 113 Tuesday for a total of 338. The Guard members will provide support to federal, state, county, tribal and local law enforcement agencies to stop illicit activity such as the flow trafficked people, criminals, narcotics, weapons and ammunition, according to the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs.

“I am grateful for this administration’s actions to address border security,” Gov. Doug Ducey said Monday in an opinion piece for USAToday. “But with a border nearly 373 miles — longer than the entire length of Pennsylvania — we can’t do this on our own.”

Critics to the plan have accused Trump of using the National Guard as part of a political move, especially in light of Department of Homeland Security data showing arrests for illegal border crossings had reached a 46-year low by December. White House officials, along with other supporters such as Texas Gov. Abbott, have since said they expect those figures to tick up dramatically this spring.

“I saw that the movement for the border wall was being stalled out in Congress just not because of Democrats but Republicans [too],” Gallego said last week, referring to why he proposed the plan last year. “I know this president is very petty and small” and would go after military funds.