"Operation Faithful Patriot." Have you heard of it? On the eve of the mid-term elections, our president has authorized the deployment of 15,000 troops to our southern border to “protect” us from a group of Central American migrants walking to the United States to ask for asylum. This rag tag group of men, women, and children are traveling together to stay safe. They know that, according to U.S. law, they must physically be inside the U.S. in order to ask for asylum. So every day, they lift their children to their shoulders and keep walking. When (and if) they reach the border, they will turn themselves in and request a hearing for asylum. This is lawful; in fact, it is the exact protocol required by U.S. law for asylum seekers.
Military documents were leaked to Newsweek about Operation Faithful Patriot, a joint venture of the Depts. of Defense and Homeland Security. The military is apparently less concerned about migrants than it is about how it will manage the onslaught of armed militia members (like the Minutemen) headed for the border to “help” keep the migrants out of the U.S. In the past, militia members have actually stolen equipment from deployed members of the National Guard.
What are these 15,000 troops actually going to do on the border once they arrive? They are permitted to provide medical aid and support to border officials. But here is what the troops aren't permitted to do—they can’t participate in detaining, deporting, or processing migrants.
What no one is talking about is the amount of damage 15,000 troops massed on the border will do to the fragile Sonoran Desert habitat where the troops will be deployed. Or the concertina wire being strung by deployed troops along the border, a cruel and prolonged death sentence for any bird or mammal unfortunate enough to come into contact with it.
Gil Kerlikowske, former chief of Customs and Border Protection, described Operation Faithful Patriot as a “political stunt” meant to mislead the public. Don’t be fooled.
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