Fox's Brit Hume Deflates Fox News Claims That Increased National Guard Presence Would Resolve Border Security Issues

Fox News figures have repeatedly claimed a surge of National Guard troops to the U.S. - Mexico border would stem the tide of people seeking refugee status in the United States, but National Guardsmen cannot apprehend people at the border or turn them away.

On the July 13 Fox News Sunday, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) said he is requesting troops on the border because “what you have to have is this clear presence on the border, where people understand that you no longer can just freely go and walk across the Rio Grande and stay in America from now on.” In response, guest host Brit Hume said to Perry, “I get that that's the message governor. What I don't quite understand is how it is with the law being the way it is, the presence of more troops or forces on the border who are not legally able to apprehend these immigrants, these border crossers, is going to change anything without the law being changed first.”

Perry returned to his demand for an increased National Guard presence, arguing that “you bring boots on the ground to send that message clearly, both visually and otherwise.”

The 2008 William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act says that undocumented immigrants under eighteen must be placed “in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child” and lays out a step-by-step procedure that must be followed before deportation proceedings can commence. Simply turning these people away at the border is not an option.

In the last week, Fox News figures have argued that the presence of National Guardsmen on the border would solve the issue, making it appear as if the Guards have the ability to apprehend or turn away people crossing the border, which they don't. Other Fox News reports repeated demands from Republicans for an increased National Guard presence, without noting the lack of apprehension powers.

  • On the July 8 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly argued that moving the National Guard to the border “would stop people from physically crossing the border” and argued that doing otherwise was “smoke and mirrors.” Later during an interview with Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), O'Reilly said Obama should “move the National Guard down there and deny them entry” and “that would stop it cold.”
  • The next day, O'Reilly said sending National Guard troops to the border would “stop the bleeding” and would “protect the poor kids who are being exploited.” Later in the program, during an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), O'Reilly said the flow of people through the border would stop “tomorrow” if the National Guard was sent down. On the July 10 O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly said, “you can stabilize the southern border by militarizing it.”
  • On the July 12 Justice with Judge Jeanine, host Jeanine Pirro criticized Obama for not sending the National Guard to “stop what you know is coming.”
  • Appearing on the July 8 edition of Your World, Fox White House correspondent Ed Henry relayed RepublicanSpeaker of the House John Boehner's demand that President Obama send National Guard troops to the border: “He's been calling on the president to also send the National Guard down to the border to help deal with this situation.”
  • Henry repeated the demand on On the Record with Greta Van Susteren that night, reporting on “Boehner's demand that the president send the National Guard to the border to make sure the border is finally secure, to deal with this crisis in the short-term.” A day later on The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, Henry again relayed that Boehner was “mad” Obama wasn't “sending the National Guard to the border to secure the border once and for all,” without noting that Boehner's assertion is inaccurate.
  • Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) appeared on the July 9 edition of America's Newsroom and said he was introducing a bill which would “put 10,000 National Guard members on the border” which would “stop the problem of people coming into the United States illegally.” Host Martha MacCallum did not challenge his assertion.
  • On the July 10 edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Anna Kooiman said that the situation “needs the National Guard on the ground to block the border to stop this problem.”