“Better not happen again!” is President Trump’s warning to Mexico after several Mexican soldiers disarmed American military personnel on U.S. soil.
The Pentagon, which is investigating, said it will “modify” instructions it gives troops in such situations.
On Wednesday, the president added his warning.
“Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again!” he said. “We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!”
Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2019
The president’s tweet referenced the incident earlier this month in which two soldiers were stopped by Mexican soldiers who thought the Americans had crossed the border in a remote part of Texas.
Actually, the Mexican soldiers were in U.S. territory.
U.S. officials said: “After a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area. The U.S. soldiers immediately contacted CBP, who responded quickly. Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols.”
Daniel Horowitz, senior editor of the Conservative Review, called the incident “a pure invasion that requires a military buildup.”
He warned: “The Mexican government is powerless to control the cartels at our border. But somehow when it comes to belligerently confronting our own soldiers on our own soil, the Mexicans seem to muster the personnel and temerity to defend their side of the border. Moreover, they apparently have the unbridled impudence to complain about armed American citizens defending our border, while they have permanently transformed our country in the worst way imaginable through their disrespect of our sovereignty. This is clearly no longer about immigration…”
Mexico, meanwhile, added belligerence to its aggression, with officials telling Reuters it has “deep concern” about an armed civilian organization that confronts people who cross into the U.S. illegally.
“These types of practices can drive human rights abuses of people who migrate or request asylum or refuge in the United States,” Mexico’s Foreign Relations Ministry said in a statement.
Horowitz recounted the April 13 confrontation.
“Around 2 p.m. Central Time, a group of five or six suspected Mexican soldiers approached an unmarked vehicle of two U.S. soldiers stationed at the border in El Paso County, Texas, and ordered them out of the vehicle. According to Newsweek, which obtained the ‘serious incident report,’ the soldiers were in fact active duty members of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, not from a National Guard unit. The Mexican soldiers disarmed one of the U.S. soldiers and placed his sidearm in the U.S. vehicle,” his report said.
“While the soldiers were parked south of the border fence near Clint, Texas, they were north of the Rio Grande riverbed, which placed them ‘appropriately in U.S. territory,’ according to Maj. Mark Lazane, a spokesman for NORTHCOM. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Defense (DOD), after inquiring of the Mexican government, were informed that the Mexican soldiers thought that the Americans were south of the border.”
He questioned why the Mexican government has the ability to cross into the United States and detain military personnel “but is seemingly powerless to deal with the cartels on its own side of the border.”
And he said Washington’s “lackluster” response is a concern.
Border security, after all, he explained, “is literally the No. 1 job of our federal government.”
“Failing to secure our borders is a breach of the social contract of government, as laid out in the Declaration of Independence, and if there is anything that would ever justify the citizenry to take action, it is this issue,” he said.
Trump campaigned on a promise to secure the border, and while Democrats previously authorized funding for border security, they have adamantly refused to do so now.
The dispute led to a partial government shutdown that began just before Christmas.
Trump subsequently declared a national emergency on the border, which allows him to use allocated money to build security barriers.