Differences in Border Policy Between Trump and Biden Emerge Despite Similar Use of Troops

Date:

Troops

Summary:

  • Biden’s response to the expected end of Title 42 policy in response to the expected end of Title 42, President Joe Biden has deployed 1,500 active-duty troops to the border.

  • However, unlike Trump’s deployment, the troops will only be armed for self-defense and will carry out backroom tasks.

  • They will not be allowed to temporarily detain or search migrants.

  • Since Posse Comitatus does not apply to those troops, they were able to accompany agents during arrests, searches, and other law enforcement missions.

  • Senator Lindsey Graham called it “ridiculous theater,” while Senator Ted Cruz said the troops would “accomplish nothing.”

Biden Sends Troops to the Border, but Republicans Say It’s Not Enough

In a move that has drawn both support and criticism, President Joe Biden has deployed 1,500 troops to the southern border. This move comes after his predecessor, Donald Trump, had also stationed troops at the border, but with a different mandate.

The current deployment will be armed only for self-defense and will primarily carry out administrative and support duties, such as vehicle maintenance and surveillance. This is in stark contrast to Trump’s deployment, which allowed active-duty troops to detain and search migrants, and participate in building temporary barriers.

Despite this difference, Republicans are criticizing Biden’s efforts as “window dressing” and argue that he should have secured the border months ago. Many believe that the troop deployment is not enough to address the ongoing immigration crisis.

Troop Deployment – The Differences

While the current troop deployment may seem similar to that of Trump’s, there are key differences that make it a departure from the previous administration’s approach.

The current deployment is smaller, with 1,500 troops compared to Trump’s 5,500. Secondly, the troops will only be armed for self-defense and will not be involved in any direct law enforcement activities. This is a marked difference from Trump’s deployment, which authorized active-duty troops to participate in detaining and searching migrants.

Another key difference is the use of the troops. Under Biden, the troops will primarily carry out administrative and logistical tasks, such as vehicle maintenance and surveillance. Trump’s deployment, on the other hand, involved laying concertina wire and erecting temporary barriers.

Republican Criticism

Despite these differences, Republicans are not convinced that the current troop deployment is sufficient. Many believe that the crisis at the border requires more direct action, such as building a wall or increasing the number of Border Patrol agents.

Some Republicans argue that the current troop deployment is simply “window dressing” and that Biden should have secured the border months ago. Senate Armed Services Committee member Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) is among those who have criticized the deployment, stating that it is not enough to address the ongoing crisis.

The surge in immigration at the US-Mexico border

As the US government’s Covid-era Title 42 policy ends, the number of immigrants reaching the border has surged. Title 42 allowed for the quick expulsion of irregular migrants entering the country, but its end is expected to prompt an influx of Central Americans into the US. With the Department of Homeland Security short on resources, the Biden administration has decided to deploy 1,500 active-duty troops to the border.

Trump’s anti-immigration push and use of military at the border

Former President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration push included a range of measures such as racially-charged travel bans, deportations, and separating families. Trump also sent thousands of active-duty and National Guard troops to the border through a series of deployments over the course of the spring and fall of 2018 to help repel a much-discussed caravan of immigrants from Central America. However, the numbers did not indicate a crisis at the time, and many observers saw the deployments as politically motivated, designed to fire up the Republican base ahead of the midterm congressional elections.

Biden’s response to the expected end of Title 42 policy

In response to the expected end of Title 42, President Joe Biden has deployed 1,500 active-duty troops to the border. However, unlike Trump’s deployment, the troops will only be armed for self-defense and will carry out backroom tasks. Officials say the troops will be there for only 90 days, until law enforcement can find contractors to do the work.

Criticism and support for the deployment of troops

Republicans have criticized the deployment of troops as “window dressing” and argue that Biden should have secured the border months ago. Some Republicans have also called on the president to implement a Title 42 equivalent to replace it. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey and some Republicans questioned whether Biden made the decision as a way to show Republicans that he’s getting tough on immigration. On the other hand, supporters of the deployment argue that it is necessary to address the surge in immigration at the border.

The role of the troops and their limitations

Unlike Trump’s deployment, the troops sent by Biden will only be armed for self-defense and will carry out backroom tasks. They will not be allowed to temporarily detain or search migrants. The Department of Homeland Security would have preferred to rely on law enforcement agents for the mission, but the agency is short on people and money. Officials say the troops will provide temporary assistance until law enforcement can find contractors to do the work.

The Role of Troops at the Border: What They Can and Cannot Do

As the U.S. government prepares for the expected end of the Title 42 policy, President Biden has announced that 1,500 troops will be sent to the border to provide support to Border Patrol agents. However, the troops will not be authorized to act in a law enforcement role, in keeping with the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the active-duty military from enforcing the law inside the United States. Here’s what we know about what the troops can and cannot do:

Restrictions on the Use of Force

The 1,500 troops will be armed for self-defense purposes only and are not authorized to use force, make arrests, or act in a law enforcement role. They are only permitted to perform administrative tasks, such as data entry, warehousing, and additional detection and monitoring support, which will allow Border Patrol agents to deal with the migrants directly. The troops will not be allowed to support migrant processing and escort duties or other activities that involve direct participation in civilian law enforcement activities.

Posse Comitatus Act

The Posse Comitatus Act prevents the active-duty military from enforcing the law inside the United States, which means that the troops cannot be involved in any law enforcement activities, such as making arrests or conducting searches. However, the National Guard members on state orders who deployed to the border under Trump were authorized to perform law enforcement duties because Posse Comitatus does not apply to those troops.

Controversial Move by Trump

During Trump’s presidency, active-duty troops were granted the authority to protect law enforcement agents if they engaged in violence. This controversial move put the military in direct contact with migrants and allowed troops to conduct “crowd control, temporary detention, and cursory search,” as well as use “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary)” to protect the agents. This move was widely criticized as violating Posse Comitatus.

Loophole for National Guard

National Guard members on state orders who deployed to the border under Trump were authorized to perform law enforcement duties, according to a former senior Defense Department official directly involved in the discussions. Since Posse Comitatus does not apply to those troops, they were able to accompany agents during arrests, searches, and other law enforcement missions. This loophole is one of the reasons why those units were sent to the border at the time, the former official said.

Lack of Resources

The Department of Homeland Security lacks the resources to deal with the expected influx of people seeking asylum, so the troops are filling a gap and freeing up Border Patrol agents to work the border. U.S. officials say that the troops will only be there for 90 days until law enforcement can find contractors to do the work.

Trump’s Controversial Push for a Border Wall

The construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico was a controversial issue during the Trump administration. In his efforts to fulfill his campaign promise, Trump ordered the deployment of troops to the border to assist in the construction. The Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with laying miles of concertina wire and building barriers and fencing. This resulted in over 7,000 troops being sent to support the Department of Homeland Security in California, Arizona, and Texas. The Pentagon even released hundreds of photos showing troops hard at work constructing the barrier.

However, this move was met with opposition from both sides of the aisle. Trump’s decision to redirect funds intended for military infrastructure projects to finance the border wall was heavily criticized. Despite the bipartisan disapproval, Congress was unable to gather enough support to halt Trump’s plan.

When Biden took office, he promptly put an end to the border wall project. However, he decided to keep the National Guard presence on the border for other support missions. This decision has not been without its critics, but Biden stands firm in his belief that the troops are needed to assist with administrative tasks and to free up Border Patrol agents to deal with the influx of migrants.

Political reaction to Biden’s deployment of troops at the border

Congressional reactions to President Biden’s deployment of National Guard troops to the southern border have been mixed, with both Democrats and Republicans offering their opinions. While Democrats were quick to criticize former President Trump’s use of troops at the border, some are now less vocal about Biden’s decision. Senator Menendez, a Democrat, has been the most outspoken critic of both presidents, calling Biden’s recent moves “unacceptable” and “a militarization of the border.”

Republicans, on the other hand, have shifted their stance, with some dismissing Biden’s deployment as “meaningless” and “ridiculous theater.” Senator Lindsey Graham called it “ridiculous theater,” while Senator Ted Cruz said the troops would “accomplish nothing.” However, Cruz did note that the Trump and Biden troop deployments were “qualitatively different” and that boots on the ground only matter if the administration is following the law and deporting people who come to the U.S. illegally.

When asked why Democrats are less vocal about Biden’s deployment, Senator Elizabeth Warren pointed to Biden’s “four new innovative ways” for immigrants to apply to work in the U.S. She believes that changes are being made but not nearly enough. Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) supported Biden’s deployment, saying that the end of Title 42 justified it. He added that the president is trying to prepare for many options in an uncertain and worrisome situation in the coming days.

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