We have an illegal alien horde approaching our southern border. No, we have multiple hordes approaching the border. With local police in Mexico unable to stop them, the closest caravan is 1,000 miles away from the border. The Trump administration has decided to deploy thousands of troops in hopes of preventing scores of illegal aliens from flooding into the country. It’s been slammed as a 2018 election ploy. For Secretary of Defense James Mattis, this isn’t a stunt. Yesterday, he shot down a reporter who made that insinuation during a presser with South Korea’s defense minister (via Fox News):
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis emphatically denied a reporter's suggestion Wednesday that the deployment of thousands of active-duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border is part of a political stunt ahead of next week's midterm elections.
"We don't do stunts in this department. Thank you," Mattis told a reporter who posed the question after a Pentagon meeting with Mattis' South Korean counterpart. The defense secretary added the deployment was to provide "practical support" to the Department of Homeland Security and was based on a request from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The deployment is in response to the approach of a caravan containing an estimated 4,000 Central American migrants. The Pentagon said late Wednesday that it had identified 7,000 who will be participating in the mission at the border. Approximately 2,000 National Guard members previously have been dispatched to the frontier over the past six months.
The White House repeatedly has warned members of the caravan that they will not be allowed into the United States. In an interview with Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" Monday night, President Trump vowed that the migrants "are not coming in" and said the administration would build "tent cities" to house asylum-seekers.
"We're going to have tents, they're going to be very nice and they're going to wait and if they don't get asylum, they get out," the president said.
Now, politics is politics. There’s no doubt that while Mr. Mattis doesn’t think this is a stunt, it’s undoubtedly going to reassure disillusioned Republicans that we finally have an administration who will enforce our immigration laws. At the same time, this is a serious national security concern, so Mattis probably views it as such—as he should. Regardless of whatever rests on the periphery of this action, this is one of the reasons why Trump won the GOP nomination and the 2016 election. He was going to get tough on illegal immigration.