Trump: Until We Build Wall, Military Will Guard Border

'We really haven't done that before,' says president
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2018 12:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Trump has been repeatedly complaining about weak border security over the last few days, and on Tuesday he announced a "big step" to fix that: He plans to have the military guard the southern border, reports Reuters. Trump told reporters he will talk to defense chief Jim Mattis about the particulars of keeping would-be immigrants out of the country until the president's promised wall can be built. The New York Times sees the announcement as a "remarkable escalation" in his immigration crackdown, and Trump himself called the move unprecedented.

"Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military," he said. "That’s a big step. We really haven’t done that before, or certainly not very much before." Trump offered no specifics on what the plan would entail, but he again complained about "very bad laws for our borders" and said "we're going to be doing things militarily." Trump also has been considering the idea of paying for the wall out of the military's budget, but Democratic Sens. Jack Reed and Dick Durbin have written a letter to Mattis saying the Pentagon has "no legal authority" to use its funds in that way, reports CNBC. (Read more border security stories.)

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