National Guard due today along Mexico border

SMU Law Professor George Martinez talks about the deployment of National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Dallas Morning News

 EL PASO – The National Guard arrives today to stand sentry at a border that is no longer so porous for migrants but is exploding with narcotics-related violence across the Río Grande.

Border arrests of migrants have been falling, and Border Patrol staffing is at an all-time high. It is in the U.S. interior, in cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, Carrollton and Irving, that deportations of illegal immigrants have risen to new levels. Higher interior removals still mean that overall numbers are off from their highs earlier this decade.

The arrival of 1,200 National Guard members, including about 250 in Texas, symbolizes a get-tougher approach for an administration eager to defuse notions that it is lax on illegal immigration and border security. It comes as the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, a city where the Mexican military combats drug cartels, was shut down after a bomb threat. . .

At Southern Methodist University, law professor George Martinez said the use of the National Guard is restricted by the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which generally bars the military from law enforcement activity in the U.S.

Martinez also questioned the Guard deployment.

"This militarization of the border, like the use of Predator drones on the border, is unwise as it creates the impression that undocumented persons are terrorists posing such a threat that the military is required," he said. "In fact, most undocumented immigrants are just looking for work to support their families."

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