The Central American migrant caravan shows no signs of stopping, and the Trump administration is not equivocating about the U.S. response. Both the president and his Department of Homeland Security secretary have said in no uncertain terms that the caravan is not coming across the southern border. Rumors have it that Trump is set to sign an unprecedented executive order that would essentially suspend all asylum requests at any point along the border that is not a pre-defined checkpoint. In other words, he will use language akin to the infamous travel ban to temporarily “shut down” the border entirely until the caravan crisis is over.
Now word comes from the Wall Street Journal that Trump is sending up to 5,000 military troops to the border in advance of the caravan’s final approach.
From the WSJ:
The U.S. military is preparing plans to deploy 5,000 troops to the southwest U.S. border in anticipation of a caravan of would-be asylum seekers and migrants currently moving northward in Mexico, U.S. officials said Monday.
The new figure is a major increase from initial estimates of 800 troops and would represent a military force equal to about one-third the number of customs officials currently working at the border. The military sent about 2,000 National Guard troops to the area earlier this year.
We’ve gotten mixed messages about exactly how many people are embedded in the caravan at this point. Many news reports pin the number at around 7,000, but we’ve seen suggestions that the true number might be double that. Of course, even if it were only 3,000 – or 1,000 – it would represent one of the greatest challenges to our sovereignty and national security we’ve faced in recent memory. This is a test of the Trump administration’s resolve. This is a test of America’s ability to stop a migrant invasion the likes of which has thrown Western Europe into cultural tailspin from which it may never recover. This is a test of a president who vowed to reverse the policies of the Obama administration, build a wall, and stop illegal immigration for good.
Make no mistake about it, a challenge it will be. It remains to be seen if Trump has the legal authority to stop this caravan; if he has the constitutional ability to use the military to effectively shut down the border entirely.
But the fact that he’s going to make an attempt is all we can ask of him. Congress has been less than worthless when it comes to this issue. Our laws are a mess and incongruent with the will of the American people. All we have is a commander-in-chief who understands what illegal immigration has done and will do to this country if left unchecked. Whether or not that will be enough, we will soon find out. But at least we have that.