Washington’s decision to send the US National Guard to the border with Mexico was in particular driven by a more than 200-percent increase in the number of detentions of people, who illegally crossed the border in March, Thomas Bossert, homeland security adviser to US President Donald Trump, said.
“What we briefed the president on was the trends that we’re seeing. And what we’re seeing is a 200 percent increase this month — March — this past month in apprehensions. It’s alarming. It’s an over 200 percent increase. And we’re talking about apprehending over 50,000 people attempting to cross our border in one month,” Bossert said in an interview with ABC News.
On Wednesday, the US President signed a memorandum to the Defense Department to support Homeland Security in securing the US-Mexican border with the assistance of the National Guard. On Thursday, Trump said that up to 4,000 National Guard troops would be deployed on the border.
The day before, the White House said that Trump had received a follow-up briefing to discuss his administration’s immigration strategy, which included the mobilization of the National Guard.
During the US presidential campaign and after winning the 2016 race, Trump made a number of statements pledging to take a more hardline position on undocumented immigration and to proceed with the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico among other issues.
Despite Trump’s claims, the illegal immigration decreased after the 2008 recession. In addition, the administration of his predecessor Barack Obama deported more than 2 million migrants without documents over eight years. Although illegal immigration is at an all-time low compared to past years, figures from the Customs and Border Protection reveal that there has been a slight increase in illegal immigration in the past several months, which is what may have prompted Trump’s decision to deploy the National Guard.