Washington DC, Apr 4 (EFE).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday will sign an order instructing the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to work with several states to deploy National Guard troops along the border with Mexico.
“It’s time to act,” said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen upon announcing at the White House that Trump is intending to sign the order on Wednesday.
The Homeland Security secretary expressed her desire for the deployment to begin “immediately” and said that she is in contact with border-state governors, who are the officials exercising authority over their states’ military reservists in the Guard, although the US president can call for their assistance in certain situations.
The deployment will be undertaken as quickly as possible, Nielsen said.
Early on Wednesday, Trump had tweeted that “Our Border Laws are very weak” and that Democrats “stand in our way” of enacting new laws, adding that “We will be taking strong action today.”
Regarding the number of Guard troops to be deployed, Nielsen said that it will be “as many as is needed” to be able to seal the “gaps” that she said exist in the current immigration system allowing illegal immigrants, drugs and transnational criminal groups to infiltrate across the southern border.
The administration contends that there has been a recent increase in the arrivals of illegal migrants across the southern border, but in 2017 detentions along the frontier fell to their lowest level since 1971, according to government figures.
Nevertheless, Nielsen said that asylum requests had increased, pointing to that as one of the main reasons for the deployment of the Guard troops.
She said that before 2013, one in every 100 immigrants said that they feared for their lives if deported back to their homeland, but now that figure has risen to one in every 10 immigrants.
Nielsen said that “fraud” is being committed regarding those asylum requests and that people traffickers have told migrants to say those “magic words” because they know that the US immigration system is obligated to provide asylum if a person’s life is in danger.
Finally, Nielsen asked Congress, the only authority with the power to change US immigration laws, to allocate sufficient resources to build the controversial wall along the Mexican border, as well as to end to the so-called “catch and release” policy.
That policy permits Border Patrol agents to release migrants they intercept on the border under the reasoning that, if they do not pose a danger to US security, they can remain free while they await immigration hearings that will consider their deportation.
The White House this week announced that it is preparing a new bill on immigration, although no details of the plan have yet been made public.