US: Pentagon Deploys 3,750 Troops to Border in Political Stunt

President Trump attempted to justify the move suggesting that the Central American caravans, largely made up of women and children, were a security emergency.

The U.S. Department of State announced on Sunday the deployment of 3,750 additional troops to the Southwest border with Mexico during the next three months to bolster border customs and border protection.

The latest deployment raises the number of troops at the border to 4,530. The latest deployment was approved by the Pentagon in October 2018, with backing from Republicans in Congress.

The President attempted to justify the move suggesting that the Central American caravans, largely made up of women and children, were a security emergency. “It’s a national emergency, it’s other things and you know there ave been plenty of national emergencies called. And this really is an invasion of our country by human traffickers,” said the president during an interview with CBS.

This is the predominant type of response, but not the only one, to a situation involving the peaceful but desperate plight of migrants seeking better living conditions and escaping from poverty and violence, to the United States.

Recently, No More Deaths activists, a group providing emergency help to migrants crossing the border from Mexico to the U.S. were convicted for misdemeanors committed while leaving basic supplies such as water in desert areas which could help save their lives.

“If giving water to someone dying of thirst is illegal, what humanity is left in the law of this country,” said Catherine Gaffney who is also volunteering with the organization.

President Trump recently ended a government shutdown lasting 35 days with a cost of nearly US$3 billion and affecting close to 800,000 federal employees who were required to go without pay.

The longest shutdown in U.S. history ended on Friday when Trump and Congress agreed to temporary government funding - without money for his U.S.-Mexico border wall - as the effects of the shutdown intensified across the country.

If the executive and lawmakers are unable to reach a deal by Feb. 15, President Trump has threatened to conduct a new government shutdown or to declare a national emergency which would allow him to surpass government and obtain the resources he desires.

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Another migrant caravan of 15,000 prepares to leave Honduras

Tegucigalpa, January 5 (RHC)-- Another migrant caravan is preparing to leave Honduras in the coming days.  According to reports, an estimated 15,000 people will leave from San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras on January 15th.

"They say they are even bigger and stronger than the last caravan," said Irma Garrido, a member of the Reactiva Tijuana Foundation migrant advocacy group.

The new caravan will probably be joined by more people from El Salvador and Guatemala.  According to Garrido, they will not immediately attempt to reach the Mexico-U.S. border where a large number of Central American migrants are currently stranded and face obstacles to apply for asylum.

“They will stay in the south of Mexico in Chiapas and Oaxaca.  Their aim is to request work there,” Garrido told the Los Angeles Times.  Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) promised jobs and visas for the Central American migrants.

Lopez Obrador made humane “comprehensive” immigration policy a central tenet of his campaign platform in 2018 and signed a deal with the leaders of the Northern Triangle countries (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador) to create “programs (and) projects ... in order to create jobs and fight poverty in the region,” just hours after being sworn in on December 1st.

A local media from Chiapas reported that although the new caravan will not go to Tijuana, some of the immigrants plan to head there, hoping to enter the United States.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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Over 5,600 U.S. Soldiers at US-Mexico Border

Washington, Nov 9 (Prensa Latina) Some 5,600 U.S. soldiers are Friday at the Mexican border to prevent undocumented migrants from entering the country, according to U.S. military sources.

Despite criticism from various sides, the Department of Defense initially predicted the deployment of some 5,200 uniforms.

The Pentagon said in a statement that 2,800 military units are located in Texas, 1,500 in Arizona and 1,300 in California.

Some 2,000 members of the National Guard, mobilized since last April, are also in the border area.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on October 31 to send up to 15,000 soldiers to the dividing line after the department announced it had sent 7,000 to that end.

The military publication Star and Stripes reported then that the Northern Command had confirmed that more soldiers could be added to the 5,239 initially assigned.

Nearly 40 units were summoned for the movement and the list includes combat engineers, Third Infantry Division aviators, members of forts from Texas, North Carolina and Kansas, and medical and logistical staff, the source added.

This operation, called Faithful Patriot, a name recently dropped, was described by Northern Command chief Terrence O'Shaughnessy as an effort to help the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection tighten defenses at legal entry points and nearby sites.

Newspaper reports stated that the military will have its actions limited by a federal law.

Such a rule, they pointed out, prevents the Army from carrying out police work in U.S. territory, which means that uniformed soldiers won't be able to participate directly in operations against Central American caravans seeking to reach the United States.

Some of the tasks allowed to soldiers include providing air support for border missions, installing concrete barriers, and repairing and maintaining vehicles.

R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection from March 2014 to January 2017, said the Army cannot stop asylum seekers at border crossings requesting protection.

I see the deployment of troops as a political maneuver and a waste of both military resources and taxpayers' money,' he said.

It is a big mistake to use active military personnel and assign them to such duties, Kerlikowske added.

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Trump-Threat: The roar of the voiceless

President Donald Trump warned, on Monday, in Washington, that he would send his Military against the caravan of thousands of poor Central Americans heading to the southern border of the United States.

Trump dared to say in a twitter message: “This is an invasion to our country and our Military is waiting for you!”.

Spanish news agency EFE revealed that the commander of the US Defense Department Northern Command, Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, announced at a press conference that around 800 troops are already en route to the border.

Terrence explained that the military would carry their “military planning capabilities”, and three helicopters to transport border patrol agents, as well as materials to pitch tents.

Earlier, the head of state said that in reprisal for the advance of those migrants, he would “substantially” cut off the economic aid that U.S. provides to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

He lashed out against Mexico for falling to halt the crossing of these migrants.

Meanwhile, Mexican authorities released a plan to provide humanitarian assistance and accompaniment to the caravan in its crossing through the south of that country.

This, although an 1878 US law prohibits the use of troops for national security and public order tasks.

Therefore, as pretext, O'Shaughnessy stated, the military will only support the border patrol agents in air operations to detect illegal activities, as well as in mechanical work, and will provide medical care to immigrants if needed.

He also pointed out that 2,700 National Guard troops have already been deployed along the southern border since April.

Kevin McAleenan, head of the Custom and Border Protection Office, stressed at a press conference that 2,000 other agents are ready to perform border protection tasks.

EFE commented that another caravan of Salvadorans would reach Mexican soil with the same aim soon.

The human tide, composed of hundreds of women, men and children waded and swam crossed Suchiate River.

In order to face up the stream, the migrants, holding hands formed a chain, as a low-flying helicopter of Mexico’s Federal Police hovered overhead, causing strong gusts of wind that destabilized the people.

Once again, the image of one of the strongest capitalist powers in the world is shattered.

Its current military budget bill exceeds $700 billion, which destroyed entire nations, such as Iraq, Korea and Vietnam.

Actually, this country is the biggest military weapons and equipments dealer in the world.

Now, its president, Donald Trump, threatens to use his Armed Forces against humble Central Americans fleeing the hunger and misery imposed by the North.

They, together with their poverty and despair are writing –maybe unconsciously–, another incredible page as representatives of a humanity that apparently is saying THAT’S ENOUGH! 

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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Central America: Rebellion against Trump?

A large number of Central American citizens threaten to wage a virtual rebellion arriving at the Mexican border in the coming days to cross into U.S.

This issue increasingly makes Donald Trump’s situation more complicated, since it takes place several days ahead of the midterm elections.

The aforementioned assertion took place in Washington, by Miami Herald reporters Franco Ordoñez and Anita Kumar.

In these elections, among many other things, the House of Representatives is renovated and one-third of the Senate, scenario where it is foreseen a possible setback of the Republican Party.

Now the head of state, at the defensive, retakes the migratory issue and threats to use the army to stop the advance of that growing human tide toward Mexico.

The president tweeted: “I am watching the Democrat Party led assault against our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders do little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to United States”.

And added “I will ask Mexico to stop the migrants or I will call up the US Military AND CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER”.

He also pointed out that “border security is far more important to me than trade”.

As is known, Trump has threatened to cut foreign aid to Central American countries whose citizens are part of the said caravan with several thousands of people.

The government of President Peña Nieto has sent its federal police toward the southern border trying to stop them.

León Fresco, former Assistant Undersecretary of Justice during the Obama government stated:

“There’s nothing else that Trump can do, he has turned it into a political issue and blames Democrats”.

He warned that “That’s the only thing he can do because he hasn’t fulfilled any of his promises, like that of building the wall or reducing illegal immigration”.

According to the Herald, since his arrival at the White House, the president has issued new directives to step up deportation, pressed the Congress to pass bills that haven’t gained support, issued executive orders restricting visas, introduced a disastrous policy to separate parents from their children at the border, which he reversed later, and promised to build a border wall that has yet to gain funding from the Congress.

“Meanwhile, the illegal crossings in the border are still increasing”, noticed the Herald.

Reporters Ordoñez and Kumar point out that last August, the Border Patrol arrested 12,774 people, a 90 percent increase compared to equal period in the previous year.

Both figures were reported by the Department of Homeland Security.

Republicans fighting to keep the majority in both chambers of Congress in a year in which the president’s party traditionally loses ground, have been outraised by their Democratic counterparts, who need to win 23 net seats in the House and 2 in the Senate to gain control of the chambers.

Trump and his supporters insist that the said hard-line stance on the caravan has nothing to do with the midterm elections, but the president and Republican candidates have been campaigning on the issue for months.

The head of state has already made the immigration issue an important part of the campaigns for the November elections and urged voters to elect Republicans to Congress who allow the funds to build the border wall.

“The new platform of the Democratic Party is radical socialism and open borders”, told Trump to a bustling crowd at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Thursday night.

The Herald points out that VP Mike Pence traveled to Guatemala and additionally called on the presidents of Honduras, and El Salvador, three of the greatest source of migrants toward U.S., to take steps to secure their borders.

Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies and former State Department foreign service officer, considered that “Should nothing is done with this caravan there will be real consequences for United States”, adding that in her opinion it is already a crisis.

We should add ‘another’, amidst those that already surround the billionaire president.

 Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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Trump Orders End To Family Separations At US-Mexico Border

After global outrage over U.S. President Donald Trump's policy to separate asylum-seeking families at the Mexican border, he signs to end the practice.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end the separation of undocumented migrant parents and children seeking to enter the United States at the Mexico border.

RELATED: US Protests Against Border Separations, How We Got Here

The Trump administration had separated 2,000 families in the past six weeks at the U.S.-Mexico border, holding children as young as four years old in cages within cold warehouses in border states. The warehouses have become known as #Trumpcamps and have been likened to the U.S. Japanese internment camps during WWII.

Social media outlets lit up this week with domestic and international backlash protesting Trump's family separation policy. A June 18 Quinnipiac poll found that U.S. residents opposed the policy 66-27.

Pope Francis and outgoing United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called the administration's actions "unconscionable" and called for an immediate end to the policy. Even the president's wife, Melania, urged her husband to cease and desist.

Earlier this week, Trump and his Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen tried to blame the practice on Democrats and some unnamed law they claimed the party had passed.

By the time of the signing, Trump publicly delivered a different message: "It's about keeping families together while at the same time making sure that we have a very powerful, very strong border," he said, signing the order in a hastily arranged Oval Office gathering that many in his closest circle were unaware was happening until it was over.

"I didn't like the sight or the feeling of families being separated," said the president, flanked by Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence. "I think anybody with a heart would feel strongly about it. We don't like to see families separated."

Trump also took the opportunity to reiterate his zero-tolerance policy: "We are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be zero tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally."

His somber tone on Wednesday was a far cry from his tweets on Monday, in which he criticized Germany and Europe for immigration policies he claimed had "violently changed their culture."  

"Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!" tweeted Trump.

The vast majority of separated families were Central Americans trying to gain political asylum, to which they are entitled under international law.

The U.S. border patrol took up the practice of "preventing refugees from coming to ports of entry, turning them away... and making them wait for indeterminate periods of time in Mexico," Jeremy Slack, assistant professor of geography in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Texas in El Paso, told teleSUR.

Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials told the media they couldn't receive any more asylum seekers "until space becomes available."

Such families were forced to enter 'illegally' at non-port entries, where they were then picked up by border patrol agents and adults put on the path to be tried for misdemeanors or felonies. This obliged authorities to place children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Prior administrations and even Trump had previously treated these cases administratively, which allowed families to stay together.

The order requires that immigrant families be detained together after entering the country. However, several Republican members of the House of Representatives – briefed by Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen on Wednesday about the president's decree – said they "do not know if it would prevent family separations during detentions longer than 20 days," Reuters reports.

The Families Belong Together  organization is planning a national-level U.S. protest against the president's immigration policy on June 30.

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Baby Born at Crossing Point on U.S.-Mexico Border

TUCSON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities said Monday that a mother and the baby she gave birth to on the weekend at the Presidio crossing point on the Texas-Mexico border are both in stable condition at a nearby hospital.

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