Boots on the Border

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Boots on the Border

Photo Credit: Anthony Albright

Photo Credit: Anthony Albright

Photo Credit: Anthony Albright

Horton Richard, Writer

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On April 3rd, President Trump announced his plan to  secure the United States/Mexico border with the United States military until construction of the border wall could be completed. He tweeted that “We are sealing up our Southern Border. The people of our great country want Safety and Security,” which was followed by some questioning from reporters and other political leaders. When asked to go into further detail on when this might go into effect or the extent to which it would be enforced, he said that he would be attending a meeting with Secretary of Defense James Mattis and others to figure this out; nevertheless, he only gave a vague estimation of when that might happen.

This isn’t the first time that a plan like this has been thought up, and if it should go through, it wouldn’t be the first time that it happened either. During both the Bush and Obama administrations,  troops were sent to the border to help re-secure and guard the area, with Bush sending 6,000 troops and Obama  sending 1,000 troops. Trump has stated that he plans to have as many as 4,000 troops guarding the border, about halfway between his predecessors.

Many border state governors applauded Trump’s decision and sent troops to aid in the effort immediately, with governors of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona (all Republican) sending support.  Several hundred troops have arrived so far, and the president plans to have that number grow. The Democratic governor of California, Jerry Brown, had been, until recently, the only border state governor to refuse to send troops to help the cause, but on April 11th he finally accepted federal funding for 400 personnel. However, he made it quite clear that those soldiers would be present to help deal with issues of smuggling, drug trafficking, and arms dealing, not to capture people simply seeking to immigrate to America for a better life or to help construct a border wall. Despite maintaining a clear position against Trump’s policies, Trump praised Brown’s decision as a smart move for the safety of our country, although he may just be glad to see even a small change from the state’s usual disagreeing policies.

I’ve never been a supporter of Trump and haven’t held many of his policies or actions in high regard. However, I think that this would be a perfectly reasonable course of action to deal with the illegal immigration issue. It does hinge on many important factors, such as how much military force Trump is planning on using and how the troops will be instructed to deal with attempts to cross the border; but if Trump is reasonable, this may be a perfectly acceptable change.

Of course, that’s where I find issue with this idea: Trump is known for overdoing just about everything. My hopes for this plan is that a reasonable amount of troops are sent to the border to deter illegal immigration and that reasonable consequences will be given to those desperate enough to try anyway. I could easily see Trump turning this into a project using far more resources than necessary with policies that could lead to escalated tensions. However, until I’m given a more concrete reason to believe that this action will take a turn for the worse, I don’t feel like it deserves to be heavily frowned upon. And so I believe that it’s the best course for all of us to keep a cautious but accepting eye on the situation.

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

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