An article in today's online Houston Chronicle reports that the Department of Defense is exploring ways to increase active duty military presence and assistance on the southern border of the US.
At the Pentagon, Paul McHale, the assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense, asked officials to offer options for the use of military resources and troops — particularly the National Guard — along the border with Mexico, according to defense officials familiar with the discussions. Link
Although the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 outlaws the use of the Army, Navy, and Air Force to actively persue domestic law enforcement activities, this act can be sidestepped by presidential proclamation. If the President receives a request from a state governor for assistance to quell public disorder, the President may issue a proclamation to the effect that order has broken down, and that those responsible must disperse. This restriction has been set aside recently during the Rodney King riots and Joint Task Force-Bravo, along with employing the Stafford Act which permits the president to declare a major disaster and send in military forces on an emergency basis for up to ten days to preserve life and property.
With illegal immigration being debated in the news and in the halls of congress, and the spectre of national security always rearing it's head along our porous borders: Are local law enforcement and the US Border Patrol equipped to handle the current situation along the southern border?
Would you support a stronger military presence along the borders, especially in the south?
Do you believe the Department of Defense currently has the assets to support such a request? Why or why not?
Would such an act lead to an increased militarism of domestic law enforcement?