Home / U.S. / Trump will send troops from the National Guard to the Mexican border, but will not have contact with immigrants

Trump will send troops from the National Guard to the Mexican border, but will not have contact with immigrants

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called on Congress to reduce gaps in the immigration system, which has made it impossible for the Trump administration to end the practice of capture and liberation through which immigrants are freed while They wait for a trial.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday that the Department of Justice "fully supports the efforts of the Department of Defense and Homeland Security announced today to secure our border."

"Soon I will announce additional initiatives by the Department of Justice to restore legality to the southern border," Sessions said.

He said it was "essential" for Congress to pass "clear, fair and effective legislation that will put an end to illegality and create a system that serves the national interest."

No physical contact

The National Guard troops will not have physical contact with the immigrants nor will they be responsible for prosecuting them at the border, one of the officers said. Instead, they will give more visibility to the customs agents by providing surveillance by air and through the control of the border chamber.

President George W. Bush issued a similar policy in 2006, called Operation Jump Start, although a White House official said It is not yet clear how close the new deployment will imitate that plan.

President Barack Obama also deployed National Guard troops to the border in 2010 to help provide surveillance by air.

Tennessee National Guard Sgt. Phillip Williams of Gatlinburg stands guard near the Mexican border in Yuma, Arizona, during Operation Jump Start on March 2, 2007. John Partipilo / AP Pool file

Under Operation Jump Start, approximately 6,000 National Guard troops played a supporting role to the customs agents who are already in the region, helping in the collection of information and the construction of a fence along the border. The National Guard was not involved in apprehending immigrants or using any kind of force against them, unless they were attacked for the first time.

The apprehensions on the border between the United States and Mexico have begun to increase in 2018, going from 23,555 in February 2017 to 36,695 in February 2018, the last month for which statistics are available.

Illegal immigration slowed drastically in the first months of the Trump administration, after the sharp rhetoric it used to address the issue in the election campaign. The increase in recent months has led the president to lash out on Twitter, claiming that caravans of immigrants crossing the border should be stopped and refusing to renew a DACA agreement, which would protect immigrants who were previously brought to the United States. when they were kids.

Senior government officials told reporters on Monday that the administration also plans to send legislation to Congress that will make it harder for immigrants to apply for asylum and allow the government to detain detainees for longer than current decisions allow. federal court.

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