President Trump has directed the National Guard to the southern border. With funds lacking for the border wall, despite a colossal federal budget bill, the move by the Trump team is aimed at deterring illegal border crossings while construction is still nascent. The deployment is not unique, both Presidents Bush and Obama did it – but President Trump’s order faces pushback from California and sanctuary policies meant to undermine federal immigration law.

President Trump’s 2019 budget proposed roughly $3 billion in funding for the border wall with Mexico. The 2018 Congressional spending bill, while authorizing some funds for wall construction, is a far cry from the estimated $15-25 billion for construction. In the interim, President Trump has instructed the National Guard to be deployed to the southern border as a way of bolstering border defense.

The porous southern border has been a contentious issue for the President since he hit the campaign trail. While the “Trump Effect” on immigration has been an overall decrease in illegal entry into the United States, Customs and Border Protection saw a surge last month in illegal crossings.

The realities of illegal immigration in the United States bolster the argument in favor of increased border security. In 2017, according to Customs and Border Patrol, 303,916 individuals were apprehended crossing illegally. Among that number were 175,978 non-Mexicans, over 800,000 pounds of marijuana, and over 6,000 pounds of cocaine. Today’s illegal immigration population stands at roughly 12.5 million.

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National Guard on Southern Border: Protection or Publicity Stunt?