President Trump wants to send 15,000 troops to southern border: - FOX34 Lubbock

President Trump wants to send 15,000 troops to southern border: Is it legal?

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

President Trump is doubling down on immigration ahead of Tuesday's midterm election.

He said a comprehensive executive order is coming next week, after sparking nationwide controversy about birthright citizenship and asylum.

This follows orders to place thousands of active duty military on the southern border in an effort to prevent migrant caravans from reaching the U.S.

Dave Lewis, with the Texas Tech Institute of Peace and Conflict, said this is not just about immigration.

"You also get the human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, you get counterfeit goods, and you get the threat of terrorism coming across there. While there are undoubtedly some people who need asylum coming in here, really what we have to do is be very diligent in protecting our borders against all five of those issues," Lewis said.

Walter Huffman, a retired Army major general and law professor, said some argue the request to send troops violates federal law.

"The Posse Comitatus Act itself says you cannot use the federal military to enforce the civil law, unless there is a specified article in the Constitution or an act of Congress that says you can," Huffman said.

However, he said there is a hole in the argument.

"Cases that say you cannot use the United States federal military to enforce the civil laws all talk about its use against citizens. Well, if you're talking about this migrant caravan, you're not talking about citizens," Huffman said.

In addition, Huffman said these migrant caravans may be characterized as an invasion, and if that is the case, it would be a protected move.

"The Posse Comitatus Act says if the Constitution specifically allows the use of federal troops, then it's not a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. And in the Constitution, it says that the federal government will protect the states against invasion," Huffman said.

He added the question needs to be if President Trump should send troops to the border, not if he can.

After all, there is also the Insurrection Act, which would protect the order as well.

There are more than 5,000 troops assisting the border patrol, as of Friday evening.

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