President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he will reinforce security along the U.S. border with Mexico by using American troops because “horrible, unsafe laws” have left the country vulnerable.
At a pair of White House events, Trump called on U.S. lawmakers to “get their act together” to enforce laws that prevent people from entering the country illegally and said he would turn to the Department of Defense for help.
“We are going to be guarding our border with our military,” Trump said. “We cannot have people flowing into our country illegally, disappearing and, by the way, never showing up for court.”
The president said he planned to speak with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in the coming days about the logistics of sending troops to the border, indicating that his plan is in its infancy and deployment is not imminent.
Presidents of both parties, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, have previously sent National Guard units to help secure the border, though it was unclear when he spoke if Trump was referring to that practice or to active duty troops when he called the idea a “big step,” adding that “we really haven’t done that before, certainly not very much before.” NBC News.