Breitbart: President Donald Trump has given Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to allow troops at the Southwest border to perform “military protective activities” he deems necessary to protect troops and border patrol agents, according to a White House memo viewed by Breitbart News.
Those activities include “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention, and cursory search,” according to the memo, which was signed on Tuesday by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
“Department of Defense personnel shall not, without further direction from the President, conduct traditional civilian law enforcement activities, such as arrest, search, and seizure in connection with the enforcement of the laws,” it added.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said despite the new authorization, the current missions have not yet changed and that troops remain unarmed except for those whose specific job is to protect other deployed troops.
“There has been no call for any lethal force from [the Department of Homeland Security],” he told reporters Wednesday. “We don’t have guns in their hands right now other than a couple of [non-commissioned officers] who at any point … are armed for force protection.”
“So there is no armed element going in … I will determine it based upon what DHS asks for, and a mission analysis, and when we do that, we’ll let you know what it is,” he said.
He rejected that the new authorities are in violation of Posse Comitatus, the law that prohibits federal troops from performing law enforcement duties within the United States.
“The one point I want to make is, again, we are not doing law enforcement. We do not have arrest authority,” he said.
He said crowd control would consist of putting up Jersey barriers, and detention would be “in terms of minutes.”
“In other words, if someone’s beating on a border patrolman, and if we were in position to do something about it, we could stop them from beating on him, and take him over and deliver him over to a border patrolman who would then arrest him for it,” he said. MORE