President Donald Trump, like his two immediate predecessors, has signed an order that will send an as-yet unknown number of National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico to assist Border Patrol agents and also attend to the president’s own short-term political needs.

If you think the above sentence is unfair in any way to the more immigrant-friendly George W. Bush, dial the wayback machine to May 2006, and note that Bush made the announcement on the exact same friggin’ day that the Senate began debating an ill-fated comprehensive immigration reform package. If you think I’m being mean to Barack Obama, check out the Washington Post in 2010 noting that Obama’s muscle-flexing, like Bush’s, was openly intended to demonstrate credibility in advance of reform negotiations: “Then, as now, the troop deployment was fueled by heightened concerns about lawlessness—then it was illegal immigration, now it is drug traffickers—as well as political maneuvering in Washington to lay the groundwork for an effort to change immigration policy.”

And if you think Trump alone of the three should be spared charges of political theatricality, consider that the 19,437 agents who work for the Border Patrol arrested between them 37,393 people attempting to cross northward across the border in March.