Donald Trump

Wait: Why Do We Need MORE Troops To Stop FEWER Illegals?

The Trump administration is wasting time, money, and people by sending National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border.


Nick Gillespie, Twitter

Let's be clear. When a cabinet head says she's going to send "as many troops as we need to get the mission done," she's using governmentese to say "we have no idea what we're talking about."

But that's the, er, exact number of National Guard members who will be ordered immediately to the border between the United States and Mexico to stop migrants, says Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen:

Matt Welch has noted that in sending troops to the southern border, Donald Trump is merely following in the footsteps of Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who did the same thing at various points. In fact, so did Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan. Sending troops to the border turns out to be, like violence, as "American as cherry pie."

So what's different this time around? Illegal border crossings dropped 25 percent between 2016 and 2017 and are currently at a 40-year low:


Donald Trump ran as a nativist who said, against all evidence, that Mexico was flooding our country with criminals, rapists, drug dealers, gang members, and welfare cheats. So in a fantastically gross way, he is simply fulfilling his signature campaign promise.

But he also ran as a savvy businessman who would "drain the swamp" and make government more effective, efficient, and cost-effective. This latest move is the opposite of all that and perhaps stressing that perspective might make the 89 percent of self-described Republicans who voted for him to think twice about meekly going along with every gesture President Trump makes.

NEXT: Trump's National Guard Deployment to the Border Is Political Theater, Just Like Obama's and Bush's

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    1. No. Because the leftarian Nick Gillespie is using last year’s data when the Trump effect reduced illegal immigration to historic lows but immigration control is reporting border crossing turn aways are up 203% over last year. See all the boring statistics and graphs here:

      Too bad Nick couldn’t trouble himself to check the government website.

      1. So, just to clarify, when you say “the Trump effect reduced illegal immigration to historic lows”, does that imply that the Trump effect was also responsible for the obvious downward trend in the graph from the article?

        Also, when you say “border crossing turn aways are up 203% over last year”, is that also because of the Trump effect? Or is the Trump effect that delivered those historic lows from last year no longer working?

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  1. The border between Mexico and the US should be completely unguarded.

    Or, if any employees of the US government absolutely have to be stationed there, their mission shouldn’t be to prevent anyone from crossing. Rather, any immigrant from Mexico should be given paperwork to become a US citizen and start voting ASAP. They should also be supplied with translators if needed.


    1. You’re starting to make sense, OBL.

    2. We’ll unguard ours when the Canadians unguard theirs!

      1. You looked up the requirements for legal immigration to Canada lately?
        Their border is pretty well guarded, just not by highly visible troops.

    3. Maybe loose immigration rules would motivate Mexico to be a better place to live.

      1. Gradual legalization of drugs might help demonetize the cartels at least.

      2. Good call. If Mexico loosened up their rigid and anti-foreigner immigration rules, it would attract many Americans to relocate there, start up businesses, buy real estate, and invest in the country.

    4. Weren’t our borders always unguarded until about 100 years ago? It would be nice to have a history of what border controls did or didn’t exist at various points in our nation’s past, to put the present debate in historical context, but that seems very hard to come by.

  2. “Illegals”?!?!?! How can a human being be illegal?!?!

    I didn’t realize how racist Nick was.

    1. Hey, kids. It’s time for leftist wordplay. If you apply for proper visas for entry into a country, your a legal immigrant. If you break the laws and enter anyway, then you are a…er…an…quick let’s do a small market study to find the most deceptive term that hides the obvious. Survey says…undocumented!

  3. Why does this need to be worked out with Mexico?

    I mean, what are they going to do? Put speakers in the windows of houses facing the border and play their music really loudly in protest?

    1. God help us all.

    2. +1 La Cucaracha

    3. Yeah, I think our music can out annoy their music. + Super Bass.

    4. I remember an Air Force base commander in Greece doing this to protesters outside the base gates. It kept excalating until the CC brought in the big guns, APUs (Air Power Units) and blew the protesters and their stuff all over the place. I’m not sure about now but back in the 90s, the commander still had a Greek arrest warrant on him. I used to play golf with him at Ramstein AB.

  4. This is in response to the caravan of migrants headed towards the US border. Do we need a the national guard to stop maybe a thousand people trying to sneak in?

    Maybe, maybe not, but that’s something Nick should have specified on for an article like this.

    1. From what I read they are not planning to sneak at all. All you have to do is step one foot over then get arrested and apply for asylum. The border guards can’t touch you on the Mexican side so not hard to just walk right up to them.

      In any case looks like most or all of them won’t even get this far.

    2. Actually it is not in response to the caravan but to the fact that border turnaways are up 203% from historic lows of last year. See the government website that Nick could have looked at but didn’t apparently:

  5. Wait: Why Do We Need MORE Troops To Stop FEWER Illegals?

    Uhm, because using MORE government to achieve FEWER goals is a central function of Beltway politics.

  6. Wait…so,

    “wasting time, money, and people by sending National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border”

    Um, the National Guard is getting paid regardless of where they are posted, no? What were they doing anyway besides National Guard stuff?

    You’re saying it’s a waste as if it were brand new money.

    And based on your ‘logic’ >300k illegals aren’t worth fussing over.

    I thought this was ‘reason’ magazine.

    Oh well.

    1. “Um, the National Guard is getting paid regardless of where they are posted, no?”

      No. The national Guard is a reserve force, it’s members a part timers and they aren’t being paid by the government at all when they aren’t on active duty.

      1. Incorrect.

      2. It also costs money to move the National Guard around and redeploy them even if they are already on active duty.

    2. There is a *massive* difference between what it costs to maintain a unit that is in garrison and one that is deployed – even if its just deployed a hundred miles away.

  7. One Mexican crossing the border is all Mexicans crossing the border. Never forget.

    I’ve never seen so many wagging dogs in all my life.

    1. Never been to a DNC caucus then?

  8. In principle we should have open borders. I am not sure that is possible in our big government welfare state.

    All the national guard can do as they have in the past is drive around with binoculars and look. They can’t touch anyone, can’t make arrests. I suppose they just call the border guards if they see something.

    Trump is always reactive and impulsive in behavior. He saw the news about the supposed caravan and right then decided to call out the troops. As always he expects others to work out the details.

    1. “All the national guard can do as they have in the past is drive around with binoculars and look. They can’t touch anyone, can’t make arrests. I suppose they just call the border guards if they see something.”

      Is that the actual law, or just what previous administrations ordered them to do?

      1. It is the consequence of calling the invaders ‘illegals’ instead of invaders.
        In theory, US Military cannot be used to enforce civil law. (ignore the 101st airborne in Little Rock).
        The military can, however be used to defend the US territories from invasion.
        So there is the minor detail about invaders being invaders if they are not in uniform. (see Vietnam, middle east)
        There is the minor detail about invaders being invaders if they are not visibly carrying arms (see explosive vests)
        The federal government could make a pretty good case that anyone crossing the border other than at legal monitored crossing points is a suspected enemy combatant, and therefore subject to military action such as getting shot all to hell.

  9. Mexicans are like cockroaches, for every one you see there’s a dozen more hiding under the refrigerator. If we know there’s like 15 million illegals in this country, that means there’s another 180 million illegals hiding under the refrigerator. Have you checked under your refrigerator lately? I checked under mine and thought I found a few, so I called ICE to come get them. Turns out they were just gummy bears, but you can’t be too careful. Those Mexicans are sneaky little bastards, you could have a few living in your own home, pretending to be your wife or your kids or your cousin Jeff from upstate, and you’d never even know it. One easy way to tell though is to put a bowl of jelly beans out and see who eats some, Mexicans are notorious bean-eaters. They also like to pick crops, so scatter some fruits and vegetables around on the floor and see who picks them up. If you’re like me, you’re going to be the one eating the jelly beans and picking up the stuff on the floor so maybe it’s time to ask yourself how much you really know about the circumstances of your birth. Are you sure you’re not a Mexican? Can you prove it? Admit it, you’ve always thought your love of tacos was a little suspicious, didn’t you? Maybe you should turn yourself into the authorities just to be on the safe side.

    1. Better yet: Free Los Lobos concert!

    2. OK that was good. Actually made me wonder if I should go turn myself in.

    3. “how much you really know about the circumstances of your birth”

      Hmmm…my love of fried chicken and watermelon is food for thought.

      1. Pollo Frito and sandia!

      2. I hate being a stereotype but they’re both so good.

  10. This guy Gillespie doesn’t embarrass easily, does he?

  11. “…But protecting the border is one of the things in duh Constitution”

    – Every dumb right-wing commenter ever

    {so is Welfare, dummy}

    1. “General welfare” does not equal forced redistribution of money. Also, that’s in the preamble.

      1. Article 1, section 8

        “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

        Although calling something “welfare” doesn’t mean it applies in this context.

        1. Hmm. I guess I shouldn’t have stopped after finding the first mention of welfare.

        2. Obviously “general welfare” meant to the founding fathers: food stamps, cell phones, work one day and get unemployment for 6 mos, paid housing, etc. All those were implemented at the founding of the country.

          Wait, they weren’t??? They were only implemented in recent years to use credit card debt paid for by future generations to garner votes the democrats today?

        3. Income redistribution programs, even when referred to as welfare, do not promote general welfare. They promote the welfare of a favored few.

    2. “the general welfare” = “Welfare” only to lefty ignoramuses, lefty ignoramus.

  12. Trump is such an asshole.

    1. He’s the greatest asshole.

      1. Trump gives assholes a bad name.

    2. Please cite your source.

  13. This is just more empty rhetoric. Never going to happen.

    1. All the previous presidents since Clinton promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

  14. Maybe they could build pyramids or something. We don’t have any pyramids in the country, and why not? We should have pyramids.

    1. There’s a huge glass pyramid in Vegas!

      1. Its a start. But that pyramid was created to make icky profits.

        What we need are pyramids not tainted by profit-making. Pure, selfless, monuments of government waste.

        1. And the place is a dump. Last time I stayed there it was a total shithole in desperate need of cleaning, repainting, and new furniture.

  15. “Wait: Why Do We Need MORE Troops To Stop FEWER Illegals?”

    That chart is hard to read. Does it say that the arrest of illegal aliens has dropped to only 300,000+ a year? And those are only the one who arrested–not how many are getting across. Do you think it would be safe to assume that they’re arresting half of those coming across at the border? Regardless, even if they caught and arrested every single illegal alien trying to come across the border, that 300,000+ per year is a big number.

    We had this conversation in Welch’s thread, but, just for the record, if you think that Congress’ enumerated power to set the rules of naturalization are important, then the law of diminishing returns doesn’t kick in until you get much less illegal immigration than we have now.

    I’m a long time advocate of Cavanaugh’s idea of open borders, where Mexican citizens are free to come across the border once we develop a system so that we can independently verify that the person in question isn’t a convicted criminal, wanted criminal, has been vaccinated against certain communicable diseases, etc.…..avanaugh23

    How can we reasonably advocate open borders like that when more than 300,000 people are already walking across the border every year? Who’s going to listen to us talk about how we should have open borders when hundreds of thousands of people are already walking across the border?

    1. The Border Patrol has *600,000* people in it. If catching one person for every two BP personnel isn’t catching the majority of them – then what the fuck is adding more dudes in going to do?

      If the BP – whose specialty is this work – can’t catch the majority, then even lining the border with National Guard isn’t going to help.

      How can we reasonably advocate open borders like that when more than 300,000 people are already walking across the border every year?

      How about ‘we’re spending a shit ton of money to accomplish nothing so let’s stop doing that’? Same as we do for smuggling.

  16. I’d like to know why he’s sending troops to Borders but not to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

  17. Only 300,000+ people were arrested crossing the border last year–see? The border is secure as fuck!

    Is that what I’m supposed to think?

    I don’t think that.

    I’m a small state libertarian. I think that if the government exists for any reason at all, it’s to protect our rights. I think we should have a police force to protect our rights from criminals. I think we should have a court system to protect our rights from the police. I think we should have a military to protect our rights from foreign threats.

    The idea that the military is there to patrol our own borders rather than Iraq’s or South Korea’s used to be default libertarian stuff. What happened?

    1. The idea that the military is there to patrol our own borders rather than Iraq’s or South Korea’s used to be default libertarian stuff.

      *Patrol our borders*? No, never been stock libertarian default since posse comitatus.

      1. Posse comitatus refers to using the military to enforce laws; the idea that it is illegal for the army to protect our borders is absurd.

        1. Only if you consider illegal immigration to be an act of violence and not a crime.

          If its a crime – its properly enforced by the Border Patrol and police and the National Guard should not have anything to do with it until and unless martial law is declared.

          If its an act of violence, then the Border Patrol should not be involved and these guys, along with the rest of the regular military, should be out there shooting these people as they come in sight. Possibly even counter-invading Mexico.

          Do you really wish for us to shoot these guys?

          1. It would be awesome if we just started shooting them as they crossed the border!

            Methinks after shooting the first dozen or two on sight the number crossing illegally would drop by 95%.

            I’m part Mexican on my moms side, but this shit nowadays is out of control. The ONLY reason it is as bad as it is now is because politicians refused to enforce the law for soooooo long, and Reagan was dumb enough to grant amnesty thinking that would somehow lessen the problem. If they’d not done and amnesty, and instead stepped up enforcement back then, we’d have far fewer people doing it now.

            It’s not like we can ever stop 100% of people crossing illegally, but as with any other law the level of enforcement WILL reduce the number of offenders because it changes the cost/benefit analysis. If you know you have a 90% chance of NEVER being caught or deported, it is a very good benefit for the potential cost. If you knew you had a 90% chance of being caught and deported within the first couple years of being here, it seems a lot less appealing. It’s as simple as that. We’ll never stop everybody, but we could drop the numbers down dramatically, which I am all in favor of.

            1. Reagan was dumb enough to grant amnesty thinking the Democrats would then honor their bargain and secure the border.
              That is why Trump is adamant (most likely) about secure first, then figure out what to do about the criminal immigrants in place.

      2. 1980’s alternative reality: “Soviet tanks are advancing through Canada to the U.S. border, Mr. President.”
        “Quick! Call the U.S. Marshalls!”

        1. That’s absolutely ridiculous.

          The Canukistanis would stop them long before they were a threat to the US

          1. No, apparently we’d just send our tanks to protect the Canadian border.

      3. *Patrol our borders*? No, never been stock libertarian default since posse comitatus.

        Are you talking about the law of 1878?

        That law was disgraceful. It was the north giving up on Reconstruction.

        The law withdrawing federal troops from South was a total abandonment of blacks, and it was purely for political reasons to settle a disputed presidential election.

        That act you’re talking about wasn’t about any principle. It was the means by which blacks were disenfranchised–in the face of violence that was already erupting against them.

        Whatever principle you think that law is defending, it wasn’t about that. It was the North throwing blacks to the lions. That people would cite it now as some kind of principled defense is absurd. It’s shameful. It’s the legislative equivalent of the Dredd Scott decision–only worse, in some ways, because it came after the blood bath of the Civil War was won.

        1. ^this. I agree in many ways with the concepts of states rights, Lincoln was a tyrant, etc. But the fact is that after Lincoln was shot the North just abandoned black southerns to almost another hundred years of defacto slavery, lynchings and other terrorism, official bigotry, lack of access to the rule of law, civil and human rights, etc.
          Andrew Johnson was one of the biggest pieces of shit to ever ascend to the Presidency.

          1. black southerns to almost another hundred years of defacto slavery


        2. So you *support* the military being used for domestic law enforcement?

          1. I acknowledge that using the military to defend the Constitution and our borders is neither inappropriate nor illegal.

  18. Gillespie once wrote something to the effect that, “Immigration is the right’s clitoris”. Genius! It’s funny and it’s true. But there’s something going on with immigration on the libertarian corner political square, too.

    I don’t know what it is about some of my fellow libertarians, but they seem to completely forget everything they ever knew when it comes to immigration. Before, the purpose of the military to was to protect our own borders rather than someone else’s–but when it comes to immigration, suddenly they have no business doing that. Before, everything from EOs to war actions to whatever else an imperial president wants to do was verboten because of the Constitution and the enumerated powers of congress. They’ll suddenly remember the separation of powers again when Trump wants to invade somewhere, I hope, but for the moment, congress has no business weighing in on something as profoundly important as the rules of naturalization?

    I’m an open borders guy, but I can’t argue this stuff with a straight face.

    Where my libertarianz at?!

    1. I did comment somewhere else when somebody said deploying the military to build the wall was unconstitutional. I asked how using the military to protect our borders wasn’t precisely what the military was for. Got some bullshit about posses comitatus. So, apparently using the military to protect our borders has been illegal since 1870 or so.

      1. Posse Comitatus Act prevents the military from armed law enforcement actions not support like construction. We’ve had military supporting the Border Patrol for decades. Not to mention that if the Guard is not nationalized then they can be armed.

        1. Little Rock AR; 101st airborne, civil law enforcement. Republican president.

    2. They got taken over.

      The left are takeover artists, pursuing “the long march through the institutions”. They worm their way into an organization, and then gradually take it over by volunteering to handle the essential but not so fun jobs that actually give you power, like running the HR department. And then suddenly leftists have an edge in getting hired, and their foes are gradually, then more rapidly, purged.

      And then, once they’ve accumulated enough power, they divert the organization from its original purpose to furthering left-wing ends. And usually run it into the ground in the process.

      The libertarian movement foolishly was open to that “liberalitarian” alliance between libertarians and the left, instead of lighting a fire under the cauldron of boiling oil.

      Remember Invasion of the Body Snatchers? It was a cinematic metaphor for that process. We’re now at the point where if you start talking about the parts of libertarianism inconvenient to the left, everybody points at you and goes “Reeeeee!”.

      1. Truly sad as what you describe is exactly what occurred with #Occupy, #BLM, and most recently with the March for our Lives.

  19. Nick, I’m one of the free-trade-in-labor (open borders) guys here, but bullshit like this is bullshit:

    “So what’s different this time around? Illegal border crossings dropped 25 percent between 2016 and 2017 and are currently at a 40-year low:”

    Uh, no. The graph shows numbers of arrests, which are in no way correlated to the number of crossings.

    1. Wait. What?
      You telling me apples are NOT oranges?

  20. because the number of troops on the border was completely inadequate to stop the older flow of illegals.

    Why do you ask questions that make you look retarded, Nick?

  21. Because the job clearly wasn’t getting done before with the number of people there?

  22. Funny, but wouldn’t a wall solve this issue? If nobody enters there is no issue. Ergo….a wall. Trump’s way ahead of this issue.

    1. Not to mention that a wall allows the Border Patrol to use their other resources more effectively.

  23. Seems Nick forgot that Obama admin stopped funding border assistance his last year. Not to mention the dramatic increase in illegal entries caught over the last year.

  24. Because Trump loves wasting our money to send useless signals to his base, who lap it up.

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