WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s suggestion that soldiers on the southwest border open fire on any rock-throwing migrants captures in a nutshell the risk of using active duty troops for domestic security: They’re not intended to interact with migrants, but some troops will be armed and could be thrust into confrontations.
More than 400 military police are being dispatched to the border as part of a larger operation to support the Customs and Border Protection agency in stopping a caravan of migrants. Trump says a rock thrown by a migrant should be considered “a rifle,” escalating his rhetoric as critics accuse him of stoking immigration fears just days before the midterm elections.
About 3,500 active duty troops are now at staging bases in Texas, Arizona and California. The total deployment will exceed 7,000.