This correspondent’s greatest disappointment with the Trump Administration is that President Trump’s appointees have not supported his immigration enforcement program and worked to undermine immigration enforcement at every turn; from not giving President Trump all the available options, to those who refuse his orders, like Elaine Duke and James Nealon, to a lack of imagination; and a lack of knowledge of aggressive immigration enforcement in times past. In fact, President Trump has many options to deal with the current crisis at the border, mostly related to effective use of his executive authority and his control of the enforcement and quasi-judicial bureaucracy that deals with immigration.
The current crisis with the caravan of illegal aliens proceeding through Mexico to the United States is a case in point. President Trump has rightly criticized lax American immigration law when it comes to asylum, due process, the immigration courts (Executive Office for Immigration Review), and the lack of troops on the border to deter illegal aliens. While some 4,000 National Guardsmen are in process to be deployed to the border, the Defense Department, and ill-intentioned Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have balked at deploying active duty personnel, other than a small number of advisors or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) units to border. Apparently there seems to be a lack of understanding of the legal and Constitutional issues of deploying the military to protect the border. The issue being that there are no issues. Now, while the Cult Marx leftists have decried a “militarized” border, in fact, the Mexicans militarized the border years ago. Active duty Mexican Army and Naval personnel actively patrol the border areas, though not for Central Americans seeking to enter El Norte, but to hunt down and kill narcotrafficantes. There would be nothing wrong with returning the U.S. Army to the border to protect us from Mexican and other invaders. It has been done before. In fact, the U.S. Army was the border enforcement force until the creation of the predecessor to the U.S. Border Patrol in 1924. However, President Trump has other options for deploying the Armed Forces of the United States to the border than ordering infantry and armored forces to patrol the border in a show of force and authorizing a new Punitive Expedition to correct Mexico’s support for illegal immigration.
There are basically two issues where the military can provide more than support to the civil immigration enforcement agencies in DHS. The first is the building of the border wall or fence. The USACE is currently the contracting agency for the border fence, and also the primary contracting agency for disaster assistance, dam building, and other water control projects in the United States. The use of the USACE in civil projects is almost as old as the United States. The USACE can and should continue the expansion of the border fence outside the normal appropriation of the Omnibus based on the authority of the President to protect the nation.
However, there are additional options for use of military forces in the current border enforcement program. This brings us to issue of the Caravan of Death, not the Pinochet caravan, but that caravan of illegal aliens pointed like a spear at the heart of America, the point of the spear of those nation busting Cult Marxists who are using illegal aliens to destroy the nation. While the United States has a long land border with Mexico, stretching from San Ysidro on the Pacific coast of California to El Paso where the Rio Grande becomes the water border with Mexico. Interestingly enough, and not that surprising, most illegals don’t want to cross into the United States at either the highly fortified and fenced area around San Diego, nor do they want to cross in the trackless deserts of California from El Centro east that extend through Arizona and New Mexico ending in El Paso. The illegals know that the possibility of death await them there. The primary choice of illegals today is crossing the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border, where they use smugglers to help them cross the river. Most prefer the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which is currently the hot spot for illegal immigration.
That is where the active duty military should come in. Instead of, or complementing the National Guard deployment, the President, deliberately not advised of this option, should deploy riverine and small boat units of the U.S. Navy (USN), U.S. Army (USA), and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to the Border Patrol Sectors covering the Rio Grande. The Army and Navy have a long history of riverine operations, beginning with the Revolutionary War, in the Civil War with U.S. Grant’s successful campaigns down the Mississippi River using gunboats and amphibious assaults on Confederate strongholds, cities, and forts, during the Civil War, and including the famous Navy forces on the river of China. And the hapless Senator John Kerry, who was in Vietnam, served in the Navy riverine forces in, of all places, Vietnam, which was also well known for Army riverine forces. And it is not all ancient history, the Iraq War had a large Army and Navy riverine involvement. The skill set for active duty Army and Navy deployment to the Rio Grande would be simple as both the Army and Navy have the skill set and experience in riverine operations. Add to this the small boat capacity of the USCG, a component of DHS and already authorized by law to enforce immigration and drug laws on the waters of the United States, and the logic of this deployment is obvious. Add to this 4,000 National Guardsmen who can be quickly taught riverine operations, and there is a huge force multiplier for the USBP. What is also obvious is that top Trump appointees in DHS and the DOD have not appraised the President of this option. Another case of #DeepState sabotage of his immigration enforcement program. Together riverine forces could shut down the Rio Grande to alien smuggling. Why isn’t it being done? Texas already has.
USCG Machine Gun Armed Small Boat Ready For Deployment On The Rio Grande
US Army Riverine Craft In Iraq
Navy Patrol Boat Riverine Vietnam
Texas DPS Patrol Boat Already On The Rio Grande With Machine Guns
Another example of #DeepState sabotage is the failure of DHS to advise President Trump of his options in the issue of asylum fraud and delay. The major problem with the Caravan of Death is that those illegal aliens have been well schooled in gaming the asylum process in the United States. The basis of the asylum system for illegal aliens is credible fear standard of asylum applications, which effectively end the deportation process for years, sometimes forever. Credible fear is the standard for an illegal alien to avoid the Expedited Removal process at the border. The credible fear standard is this: an alien claims that he or she fears return to their country of citizenship or residence based on a credible fear of persecution by the government for membership in a particular social class. Now the important word there is credible. Unfortunately, two things are currently ignored by both the DHS bureaucracy and the immigration courts. First, they ignore the credibility standard and they ignore the persecution standard. Instead the standard used is not credible fear, but any expressed fear. Furthermore, they also ignore the persecution by government standard as well. Instead substituting any claimed fear from any source, including fear of family members, crime in general, anti-government terrorism, and mere social pressure.
President Trump has been ill-advised by his DHS appointees, and this major issue with credible fear and persecution standards in the law have not been addressed. The solution is simple, return to the actual standards in the statue, an alien must show a credible, not just a claimed fear, and establish that the fear must be based on persecution by a government actor. Other actions would be to declare Mexico and any other third-party nation that the alien traveled through a safe-harbor for the aliens, requiring them to make their claims of persecution in those third countries, requiring aliens seeking asylum to file at an American diplomatic post as refugees, and criminal prosecution for illegal entry and other crimes associated with misuse of passports and visas.
President Trump has options to end the Caravan of Death aimed at American, it is up to him to take those actions. He should not wait for Congressional action that is unlikely to come.