In a series of early morning tweets, Trump blasted Democrats for blocking his efforts to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and said the legislative standoff on the issue threatens our national security.
“I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this ambush, and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” he wrote.
President Trump also said if a resolution is not found, it could interrupt the new trade deal negotiated between the U.S. and Mexico.
Military leaders have repeatedly found themselves neck-deep in the immigration debate in recent months. In April, thousands of National Guard troops were deployed to the southern border to assist with security operations, however their presence was limited to surveillance.
In June, White House officials asked military leaders for assistance in housing migrant children caught up in legal fights over their immigration status, a plan that drew criticism from Democrats as improper use of military bases.
The details of President Trump’s latest plan to use military personnel in the immigration dispute are unclear. Federal law prohibits military personnel from conducting law enforcement duties on U.S. soil, with exceptions for military bases and related properties.
House and Senate lawmakers are on break until after the November 6, 2018 election. In a briefing with reporters this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said finding funding for Trump’s proposed border wall would be a top priority when lawmakers return, however he said he did not believe the fight would trigger a partial government shutdown.
Democrats in the House and Senate have repeatedly disproved funding for the billion dollar wall, and have accused President Trump of emphasizing that idea over responsible, realistic immigration reform efforts.
In a Military Times poll conducted earlier this month, 23 percent of active-duty troops listed immigration as a significant threat to U.S. national security. Half of those surveyed said they disapprove of current U.S. immigration policies, versus 31 percent who approve of them.