Trump may send volunteer force to border

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The idea of sending an emergency response team to the border is in an exploratory phase.

The Trump administration may send a volunteer emergency response team to assist with security and humanitarian efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to four current and former officials briefed on the discussions.

With border arrest numbers on the rise, the Trump administration has been “casting about” for ways to devote additional resources to stem the flow of migrants, according to a DHS official familiar with the discussions.

“My question is, do they actually need more people on the border or are they just trying to make a statement here?’” asked Craig Fugate, who was FEMA administrator during the Obama administration.

A second DHS official similarly questioned the administration’s motives for considering the force. It “makes eminent sense for a hurricane,” this person said, but not for the border. “All of this is just to buttress the administration’s claim that there’s an emergency,” the official said.

To date, the Trump administration has deployed to the southern border hundreds of additional agents from its 19,443-strong Border Patrol force. It’s also sent 6000 active-duty and National Guard troops. Yet even though border crossings remain well below their peak levels during the 1990s and early 2000s, President Donald Trump judges efforts to stem illegal immigration to be insufficient.

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