According to some news from the Texas-Mexico border, some other states, including Texas and South Dakota, are sending their troops to the Texas border to support border patrol agents.

I don't think that those actions are fitting well into new White House policy towards immigration - at least as Governor Abbot seems to believe.

That situation leads me to a question:

What can POTUS do to prevent/stop such actions of National Guard units?


1 Answer 1


Well, for one thing he could give them something else to do.

The President's Title 10 power over the National Guard allows him to "Federalize" National Guard units, rolling them into the standing armed forces and bringing them under his command. He's got two options for how he could re-task them.

  1. He can assign them as a Reserve call-up to an active deployment or combat mission for a period of no more than 270 days. They can't be at the Mexico/US border if they're overseas.

  2. He can declare a national state of emergency, and now he can deploy National Guard units for humanitarian/disaster relief options. Send them to clean up the debris of that fallen residential tower in Florida, or set up COVID vaccine facilities, have them hand out cold water in the northwest as it struggles through this massive heatwave, and so on.

Beyond that, his options are largely political and/or require the cooperation of other parts of the government(s).

  • Once the troops have been federalized, does the POTUS need a motive to issue orders to them. Couldn't he just order them to stay at their current bases, just because he says so?
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 16:08
  • 2
    @SJuan76 It's not 100% clear, but I wouldn't expect that to hold up in court. Title X is specific that case #1 is "to augment the active forces for any operational mission." It'd be a hard sell to the court that "chill out at base" is an "operational mission" requiring augmentation. case #2 will likely hinge on the wording of the declared state of emergency. Commented Jun 30, 2021 at 16:11

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