Hageman Supports Bill To Allow National Guard To Use Lethal Force At Border

Wyoming Rep. Harriet Hageman supports legislation that would give the National Guard authority use lethal force against "armed invaders" crossing the southern border into the U.S.

LW
Leo Wolfson

February 07, 20244 min read

Texas National Guard troops try to untangle an immigrant caught in razor wire after he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into El Paso, Texas, on Jan. 31, 2024, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Texas National Guard troops try to untangle an immigrant caught in razor wire after he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into El Paso, Texas, on Jan. 31, 2024, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman believes the National Guard should be allowed to use lethal force as it deems necessary to secure the nation’s southern border during a growing immigration crisis.

That’s why she supports legislation being brought by Texas Republican congressman Morgan Luttrell that would give the National Guard authority to use lethal force against "armed invaders" crossing the southern border into the U.S.

Specifically, the Defend Our Borders From Armed Invaders Act would authorize the National Guard to take "such actions as may be necessary to repel persons attempting to enter the United States from Mexico who are carrying weapons, and for other purposes," according to a description of the bill provided to Fox News.

A Historical ‘Disaster’

Hageman said people need to take at the act of migrants crossing the border illegally and while armed at face value.

“What would it be called when an untold number of foreign nationals cross our border with weaponry, if not an invasion?” she told Cowboy State Daily. “This administration needs to come to terms with the fact that they have created the largest human trafficking disaster and drug smuggling operation seen in our country’s history.”

The armed invaders referred to in the bill and by Hageman are predominantly Mexican drug cartel members and smugglers who often are heavily armed when traveling across the border. These people often use weapons to help with their efforts that often include shuttling immigrants and drugs into America.

The deployment of National Guard troops to the border is a relatively new development. The National Guard has historically been deployed to assist Border Patrol with preventing illegal travel across the border.

That’s changed, as a number of Republican governors and Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont have committed or offered guardsmen to assist Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s “Operation Lone Star” at the border. Abbott doubled down on his declaration that there’s an invasion at the border after the Supreme Court ruled that U.S. Border Patrol agents are allowed to remove razor wire Texas law enforcement had installed there.

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon was one of 25 Republican governors to sign a letter last month supporting Abbott’s efforts.

Although a spokesperson for Gordon said there are no plans in the works to send Wyoming guardsmen to the border anytime soon, in 2023 he authorized the deployment of eight Wyoming law enforcement officers to provide support there.

What It Does

Unlike in the 1978 arcade game “Space Invaders,” National Guard members stationed at the border can’t take offensive action, as current rules only allow the National Guard to use lethal force in self-defense. Similar rules regulate Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol personnel, who may only use lethal force when they or another person is at risk of being harmed.

What the Defend Our Borders Act does is allow the National Guard to act in a more offensive manner to prevent people from crossing the border, even if they haven’t made any direct attacks on the guardsmen.

According to Fox News, the Biden administration has taken several steps to crack down on cartel smuggling, including a collaborative law enforcement anti-smuggling campaign in 2022 that led to thousands of arrests. It has also made more than 170 sanctions designations of cartel leaders and members, often working with Mexico to do so.

Hageman believes the Biden administration and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandora Mayorkas are failing to comply with federal law on immigration.

“Legislation such as what has been introduced by Congressman Luttrell would not be necessary if the Biden administration, and specifically Secretary Mayorkas, would comply with and enforce the laws already in place,” Hageman said.

On Tuesday, the House voted against a motion to impeach Mayorkas for his handling of the border.

A $118 billion bipartisan immigration bill aiming to curtail some of the issues happening at the border is largely expected to be dead upon arrival in the Senate.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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LW

Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter