It is to stem the tide of illegal immigration while awaiting the construction of a border wall.
Living up to his 2016 election campaign pledge, US President Donald Trump on April 4, 2018 ordered the deployment of troops on the border with Mexico while awaiting the construction of a wall to stem the influx of illegal immigrants. News reports said Trump signed the proclamation, directing the National Guard to be «immediately» deployed to combat illegal border crossings and the flow of drugs.
One congressional aide said lawmakers anticipated 300 to 1,200 troops for the task and the cost was expected to be at least 60 million US dollars (32 billion FCFA) to 120 million US dollars (64 billion FCFA) a year. In a memorandum to the Secretaries of Defence and Homeland Security, and Attorney General, President Trump said «the situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis."
Agency heads are to submit reports within 30 days, outlining what other steps can be taken. Earlier on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, Trump in a tweet said US border laws were "very weak, while those of Mexico and Canada are very strong." While governors of the four US states bordering Mexico are largely supportive of the move, Mexican senators urged President Enrique Pena Nieto to temporarily suspend cooperation with the US on immigration and security.
They urged their government to freeze joint efforts "in the fight against trans-national organised crime" until President Donald Trump started acting, "with the civility and respect that the people of Mexico deserve."
Sending National Guard troops to the Mexican border is not new as both of Trump's predecessors also did same, though with limited results. Federal law prohibits the military from being used to enforce laws, meaning troops cannot participate in enforcing immigration. In the past, they have served in support roles like training, construction and intelligence gathering.