125 Bismarck-Based National Guard Members Deployed To Border.
It's one thing to hear and see reports of conditions along the U.S. Southern border from news sources. Now, we'll be able to share in the experience with 125 pairs of North Dakota "boots on the ground".
Bismarck-based 957th Engineer Company has deployed members for one year to help U.S. Custom and Border Protection agents.
South Dakota is also sending 50 members of their National Guard to the border, although in an unorthodox fashion. South Dakota is funding their troop deployment through a private donor. You can dive into that a little deeper from my story filed in July. North Dakota's troops are being funded by the federal government as it was a request from the Department of the Army.
Recently the North Dakota National Guard has used its considerable resources on a number of missions...This report was from July 2021 from ndguard.nd.com.
Currently, the North Dakota National Guard has nearly 375 Soldiers and Airmen mobilized. About 70 Soldiers with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 285th Aviation Regiment, and 225 Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment are on duty in the National Capitol Region. Additionally, about 75 Airmen are mobilized overseas to various locations.
So are the ND National Guard to be the "camouflage line" at the border? The human wall placed there to repel the advancing immigrants. Flexing our military might against all border jumpers in sight?
According to The Voice Of America news organization that's not a legal option.
It seems support, but not actual law enforcement, is more than likely the role the Guard will find themselves in...cue up the lawyers!
"Federal law is really clear that members of the military cannot engage in law enforcement activities of any kind within the United States territory," said César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, a professor at the Mortiz College of Law at Ohio State University, in a VOA interview.
Because I'd bet North Dakota's men and women would be pretty darn good at it. But they can assist in building additional barriers on the border. Perfect because that's what ND's 957th Engineer Company does so well- they build stuff! Call it "mission-enhancing capabilities".
Immigration is a federal issue which makes it difficult for local and state law enforcement to get involved in all aspects of the issue. Let's go back to the lawyers...
According to the Migration Policy Institute, when Texas asked for other states to send resources, the governor cited a 1996 opinion from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which allows local enforcement officers to make arrests for "all criminal immigration violations, though not for civil violations such as unlawful presence in the United States."
Federal law supersedes OLC opinions, but it makes clear that local enforcement could detain a migrant for a short amount of time until immigration agents arrive at the scene.
With 3,000 National Guard members from across the nation descending upon our Southwestern border, I'm sure the boosting of resources will be a great relief to the overwhelmed agencies down south.
Go get 'em Guard and stay safe!
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