Trump made a big show out of ordering the National Guard to the southern border yesterday, but is that really happening?
You see, Trump himself cannot order a National Guard unit to the border. The National Guard is controlled by the governor of each state and they don't have to deploy the Guard to the border just because Trump wants them to.
Under ordinary circumstances, this kind of arrangement is something you would work out before you announce it, but this is Trump. He didn't arrange anything. He probably didn't even know he can't give a direct order. The White House hasn't even spoken to the governors of border states about deploying the Guard.
The Trump administration hasn’t determined how many troops it will seek to have deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border.
That’s according to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She says: “We’re going to be sending as many troops as we need.” [...]
Nielsen says she’ll be speaking again Thursday with California Gov. Jerry Brown about earning his support for the deployment.
DHS Secretary Nielsen still scarce on details this AM about the number of troops that will be sent to border and whether they will be armed or unarmed. “I’d like to hear from the governors what it is that they want,” she told reporters
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) April 5, 2018
NBC News reports that if any members of the National Guard are deployed, they won't have any direct contact with immigrants. Federal law won't allow it.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has also reportedly informed Mexican officials that any units that are deployed won't be armed and won't really do anything at all.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has told Mexican authorities that National Guard troops deployed on the border would not be armed or participate in immigration or customs duties, according to the Mexican Foreign Ministry. [...]
Mexico said it has emphasized to the Trump administration that if the deployment comes to resemble a militarization of the border, “it will gravely damage the bilateral relationship.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has already voiced his support for Trump's stupid order, of course, but I assume California Governor Jerry Brown will tell Trump to get fucked.