Facts About Military on the Border
U.S. Law Restricts what the Military Can Do at the Border
The law that allows state-based National Guard troops to support federal efforts is called Title 32 of the United States Code. Under this title, state governors can deploy their state National Guard troops to support a federal mission, while remaining under the governors’ control.
The law allows a governor to place state National Guard troops in full-time status, under the command and control of the state but funded with federal dollars.
The Defense Department oversees the operational missions of National Guard assets called into Title 32 status, after negotiation with the governors, and in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security.
U.S. law prohibits active-duty military from performing law enforcement functions within U.S. territory except in very restricted cases.
The Posse Comitatus Act, signed into law in the late 1800s, prohibits the use of federal military assets in support of enforcing domestic policies.
The act applies to federal military but does not apply to National Guard troops acting under state authority. Governors can order National Guard troops to assist with law enforcement under the governor’s authority within state law. However, immigration and customs law is considered federal law enforcement and therefore, not under state authority.
Therefore, National Guard troops deployed under Title 32 cannot make arrests or seizures at the border.
Any National Guard troops deployed to the border have mostly performed support functions, allowing more Border Patrol agents to actively patrol the border.
Both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama deployed National Guard troops to assist the Border Patrol during their administrations.
Bush created “Operation Jumpstart” that deployed up to 6,000 National Guard troops at any given time, who performed duties such as monitoring surveillance, assisting with vehicle maintenance, and fixing border fences.
Under this operation, National Guard troops remained under the control of their state’s respective governors, but the federal government reimbursed the states for the costs of the deployment.
Obama deployed 1,200 National Guard troops during his first term under similar arrangements but focused more on aerial surveillance.
Please, Mr. Reformed, Troops on the border is a show! And at best, they can only function in a support role like when other President sent them. Stop with the misleading and scare tactics! CM
PS. Reformed, now that you have the facts, your opinions on this matter wouldn't be so repugnant. CM