National Guard Heads to Southern Border Amid Differing Reality from Earlier Deployments

Muzaffar Chishti, Sarah Pierce, & Austin Rose
Date of Publication: 
April, 2018
Source Organization: 
Migration Policy Institute

"National Guard Heads to Southern Border Amid Differing Reality from Earlier Deployments" discusses the rationale for the deployment of 4,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border by the Trump administration. Unlike previous deployments by the Obama and George W. Bush administrations, no apparent crisis precipitated the president's decision; nor did the states in question (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California) request the deployment, as they had done earlier. According to the authors, Trump's action "seems to be primarily driven by political and public relations concerns" and by his failure to secure funding for a border wall from Congress. 

The rest of the essay provides details about earlier deployments and discusses the role played by National Guard troops in supporting federal immigration personnel.  The authors also point out that the reality on the border today is quite different than it was in 2006 and 2010. In FY 2017, border apprehensions dropped to the lowest level since 1971, and the number of Border Patrol agents is more than 50 percent higher than in 2006. (American Immigrant Policy Portal)


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Chishti, M., Pierce, S., & Rose, A. (2018). National Guard Heads to southern Border Amid Differing Reality from Earlier Deployments. Migration Information Source. Retrieved from