Frequent "Morning Joe" contributor Mike Barnicle on Thursday asked Republican Sen. Todd Young (Ind.) about whether U.S. troops should be serving on the southern border over the holidays.
"Senator, I would like your view on troop deployments, troop deployments here in the United States. We have thousands of soldiers and marines along the border that come from Camp Pendleton, Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, all over the country," Barnicle said. "It looks like they were there for weeks and weeks to come. They're eating MREs on Thanksgiving Day. They're going to be away from their families again on the Christmas holiday. Your view on that troop deployment?"
"I am only smiling because I was deployed as a United States marine on the southern border of the United States," Young said, explaining his reaction. "I worked for an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron in the Marine Corps. We were charged with, among other things, coming up with new doctrine to figure out how to secure our southern border. So this is not unprecedented, to use the military, especially the United States marines, in ways that the president would direct."
"Morning Joe" segments are often critical of President Donald Trump, and their take on his decision to send U.S. military personnel to the border has been no different.
Over 5,000 troops are currently serving along the southern border, providing support for border patrol and law enforcement officials. Trump ordered troops be sent to the border in anticipation of the migrant caravan reaching the U.S.-Mexico border. The media has been critical of Trump's rhetoric about the migrant caravan and his decision to send troops to the border.
Trump has demanded Congress fund his border wall, which faces an uphill battle. Congress reconvened in a lame duck session this week and has just over a week to pass a funding bill or risk a partial government shutdown. In the past, Trump has threatened to shut down the government unless Congress passes funding for additional border security, including funds for his border wall.
"A nation that cannot secure its borders, it's often been said, is not indeed a nation," Yound added on Thursday. "But I would hope that we in Congress would do our job. You know, this is a manifestation of a much bigger problem, which is our failure in a bipartisan way to reform our legal immigration system."
Young served as a Marine Corps officer on active duty from 1995 through 2000. As an intelligence officer, he led the intelligence department of VMU-2, an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron.