Pentagon Balked at Border Troops Building Detention Facilities

Frederick Owens
November 7, 2018

The troops now being deployed to the border are limited to a Title X role, supporting the Customs and Border Patrol mission without engaging in law enforcement duties, which federal law forbids. "There is no plan for USA military forces to be involved in the actual mission of denying people entry to the United States", Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters Monday, "There is no plan for the soldiers to come in contact with immigrants or to reinforce the Department of Homeland Security as they are conducting their mission".

The initial DHS request was not accepted early on by the Pentagon and was not forwarded up the chain of command for approval.

The official representative of the Ministry stressed that the military police will protect the employees of the Ministry of defense, which are on the border.

Trump has said of the immigrant caravan, among other things, "It's like an invasion". Captain Bill Speaks, another Pentagon spokesman added, "we have not received a request from DHS to build facilities to house migrant families". They are now making their way through the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, and are around 750 miles from the U.S. border.

Experts, though, say the Pentagon's resistance to the requests makes sense.

The next day, he said troops should take action if the migrants threw rocks at them.

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By Monday, some 4,800 active-duty troops had arrived at the 13 logistics hubs that the Pentagon established to support the mission.

The Posse Comitatus law forbids the United States military from enforcing domestic laws, unless there's no other choice.

However, the military has been used for law enforcement needs in dire situations, such as during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.

The Nigerian army posted a video of Trump equating rocks with rifles on its Twitter account as an apparent defense of troops shooting some 45 protesters a week ago.

The U.S. Border Patrol late last month warned landowners in Texas to expect "possible armed civilians" to come onto their property because of the caravan, The Associated Press reported.

The primary tasks of the active-duty 5,200-strong contingent, expected to grow to 7,000 in the coming days, will be construction and engineering, Pentagon officials said. "If we were attacked by Mexico, we'd be there lawfully", he told me, "but there's no justification for it here". "They have much bigger fish to fry".

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