Trump, Labelled as ‘Dictator’, Intends to Deploy a Significant Number of Troops in the U.S.



According to sources close to Donald Trump, the former president has plans to deploy potentially hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops to close the southern border and build new immigrant detention camps if he wins a second term. Trump’s team reportedly wants to treat migrant crossings as a “war” on American soil and is seeking legal methods to employ military police at the border, a measure thwarted by legal concerns during Trump’s first term. The plans also include initiatives to limit both legal and illegal immigration, potentially resulting in the largest domestic deportation operation in U.S. history.

Donald Trump’s Plan for Sweeping Powers Includes Border Militarization

Donald Trump’s plan, should he be reelected, includes using vast numbers of U.S. troops, potentially “hundreds of thousands,” to close the U.S.-Mexico border and aid in the construction of new immigrant detention camps, according to three sources. Trump and his lieutenants view migrant crossings as a “war” on American soil and are keen on treating it as such. Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper previously blocked plans for a military police force at the border due to legal concerns.

Trump envisions a second term with a team that can make such policies “perfectly legal.” While a second Trump administration is far from certain, groups like the American Civil Liberties Union are preparing for possible orders involving military authorities should he win. Trump has expressed desires to send between tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of troops to close the border should he achieve reelection.

Presidents have historically sent active-duty and National Guard troops to support U.S. border operations. Trump sent more than 5,000 National Guard troops during his first term that assisted in border support activities. However, he often complained about it as a half-measure and desired a larger force at the southern border.

Stephen Miller, Trump’s top immigration aide, and then Secretary of Defense Mark Esper clashed during the Covid-19 pandemic over a plan to send 250,000 troops to seal the border. Esper thwarted this plan, according to The New York Times. Trump’s second-term strategy could potentially continue Miller’s plans, despite it representing a break in military usage by presidents.

In a second-term scenario, Trump may invoke the Insurrection Act to bypass restrictions and turn the military into a border police force. This act was designed to allow presidents to provide militia to civilian authorities when overwhelmed. However, Trump has also considered enhanced travel bans, using public health grounds to turn away migrants, and launching a large-scale domestic deportation operation.

Furthermore, Trump has discussed using federal troops to rapidly construct and manage camps to house undocumented immigrants. If Trump is re-elected, Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, American Immigration Council policy director, said that immigration law will likely have fewer safeguards with officials potentially getting more creative.

Trump’s authoritarian plans for an immigration crackdown could prompt high-profile resignations among senior military officers, according to two sources. However, it remains unclear how far a reelected Trump might go. Publicly, Trump has hinted at using resources to stop the “invasion,” including moving troops stationed overseas.

Miles Taylor, a former Trump Department of Homeland Security official, recalls Trump wanting to send “hundreds of thousands of troops to the southern border.” Whenever Trump brought up this desire, he was told it would be illegal under the Posse Comitatus Act. Trump would then demand that lawyers find a way to make it legal.

“If he gets re-elected, I think it would be foolish to think he would just let it go again,” Taylor says.

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