In light of the tragic plight of illegal-immigrant children from Central America being dumped in our country, the cry has once again gone out to the National Guard for a bailout and to send a message. President Obama is reportedly considering this option. Illegal immigration touches on national security, economics, compassion and reveals a remarkable disconnect between those who make our laws and their blatant disregard for those laws.
This is yet another ploy by inept politicians and pundicrats to give the impression they are doing something. As I have said in the past, it is a bad idea that will solve nothing and is indicative of a leadership that is unknowledgeable of all matters military and doesn't have the guts or competence to implement real solutions.
I believe they are talking about deploying our Reserve Components, the National Guard and Reserves, which have complementary roles and are essential to active component contingency plans. They round out combat, combat support and combat service support active units, and they train for these missions on every weekend and at annual training every summer – when they are not deployed in actual combat. They are caught, as is our active force, in the endless cycle of deployment to war and other area where our military's presence is deemed necessary. The Guard is also essential to in-state civilian disasters, floods, fires, etc. They do all this while trying to maintain a family and a civilian career. And I will say, as one who has experience in military aviation and medicine, their skills are equal to and often superior to like active units.
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This would not be a first. Our Reserve Components in the past have been engaged in the drug war at our borders. They have skills compatible with that effort. Some 6,000 Guard members were deployed to the border from June 2006 to July 2008 during Operation Jump Start. Since the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits (in most cases) our military, including the Guard when federalized, from serving in a direct law-enforcement role, the Guard's role was mostly technical, logistical and administrative.
As one who spent eight years working with our Reserve Components, it was no surprise to me that they performed magnificently. However, border security is not a proper role for our citizen soldiers. It is a misuse of this vital resource and delays a final fix to the problem. How will they stop the flow of illegals who will just surrender to them? Then what? Do our soldiers carry them back to Mexico? Do they shoot them? What message do they send? We don't need to send a message, we need to send illegals back – let Mexico solve the problem they facilitate.
President Obama, as commander in chief, is responsible for the security of our borders. He has failed but in his usual manner is blaming the Congress and says the solution is $3.7 billion, little of which goes to security and much for politics. The solution is not so-called immigration reform; the solution is immigration law enforcement: Enforce the laws we have. Immigration reform is code for amnesty, which will increase the flow of illegals into America. The origin of the current crisis is Obama's 2012 amnesty for illegals under 16. I am amazed at the liberal call to keep all these children and all who come in the future. Fox's Kirsten Powers voiced this cruel insanity. One would hope she would lead the way by adopting several of these poor children and encouraging her fellow liberals to do the same.
Obama can use his pen (treat all illegals as from Canada and Mexico) and phone (inform the countries of origin they better get involved) in the short term to stem the flow. In the long run the answer is a fence where effective and many more border personnel specifically trained for that mission. (As an aside, it is unbelievable that Obama would not visit the border to thank the overworked and underpaid border control personnel who are overwhelmed by this tragedy. The man must be compassionless.) If we had spent the $3.7 billion on law enforcement, a fence and more trained manpower years ago, we would not have this problem.
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The Guard should not be on the border for the same reason journalists and politicians aren't – they are not trained for that duty, and they didn't sign up for it. They are already stretched too thin. Certain military skills are appropriate for drug /border use, but soldiers chasing/confronting desperate civilians are not.
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