One of the most famous promises of Donald Trump was his promise to construct a border wall. He had also said that the construction of the wall would be paid by Mexico. The wall was supposed to stop the influx of Illegal Migrants into the USA. One year down the line the president has realized that the border wall, apart from costing billions of dollars, may take years to be erected. In the meantime, something had to be done to convince his constituency that he was serious in wanting to stop migrants from across the border from Mexico coming into the USA.

Some days back he had mooted the proposal to have troops man the border to stop the illegal migrants. The Mexico-US border is almost 1200 miles and goes through deserts, jungles, and ravines. Its a difficult border to man by any standards. Trump had proposed some 4000 troops to augment the border force already guarding the border. reported that Defense Secretary James Mattis has approved funding for up to 4,000 troops from the National Guard to man the border with Mexico. The Pentagon will pay for the operation through the end of September.

Troops on border

This is not the first time that troops are being sent to police the border. Earlier under both George Bush and Obama, troops were deployed under Title 32.

In 2006, Bush authorized 6000 troops to man the border and President Obama similarly sent 1200 National Guard soldiers for the same duty. In both the cases, the troops were withdrawn after a few months. Perhaps the only difference is that now Trump has probably planned for a longer period of activation.

El Dorado

America remains the El Dorado for poor migrants of South and Central America.

Thousands, despite the dangers involved, try and make it to the United States. Professional helpers also help the migrants cross the border for a fee. With the advent of Trump, the border has been tightened and over 50,000 illegal migrants were caught last month, which is three times the average earlier. Despite this, the steady flow of illegal migrants continues.

The caravan

The deployment took on urgency as reports emanated that a caravan of illegal migrants from Central America was on its way through Mexico. This sparked some angry tweets from the president. The organizer of the caravan, Irineo Mujica, has said that the aim of the caravan was not the US border but his statement can be taken with a pinch of salt.

It will be interesting to watch how the events unfold later as the wall is effectively stalled in Congress and Trump has to think of something else.