Law Limits Troops' Function at Border
Nov. 5, 2018
Following tweets from President Trump about calling up the military and shutting down the southern border in response to the approaching migrant caravan from Central America, Arizona Public Media’s Arizona 360 asked University of Arizona Law’s Kristine Huskey to discuss what authority the president has in this scenario. Huskey is an associate clinical professor and director of the Veterans' Advocacy Law Clinic and is an expert on international human rights law, national security law and the laws of armed conflict.
Huskey explained that although the president can legally close border ports of entry, it's less likely he could use the military to enforce the law and engage in law enforcement function.
“There’s an 1878 act that prohibits basically our U.S. military troops from engaging in domestic law enforcement in the U.S.," Huskey said.
She said troops can be used to repel an invasion or an assemblage, but although the term “invasion” has been used by the president, the caravan is not attempting to go against the authority of the United States.