The U.S. military expects to deploy 5,000 troops to the southwest U.S. border in anticipation of the arrival of a group of migrants, most of whom plan to turn themselves over to authorities and seek asylum once they reach the U.S. Initial reports suggested a deployment of closer to 1,000 active-duty troops, but Donald Trump has been hyping the arrival of the so-called "caravan" as a major election issue and clearly demanded a bigger show of force for what would otherwise be a relative non-event.
"Many Gang Members and some very bad people are mixed into the Caravan heading to our Southern Border," Trump tweeted with zero evidence, calling it "an invasion of our Country."
In fact, the group is much smaller than has been reported, consisting of closer to 3,500 migrants, according to Mexico's ambassador the U.S. The military plans to send about 1,800 troops to Texas, 1,700 to Arizona and 1,500 to California, including military police, engineers, and some Marines, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The last group of Central American refugees headed for the U.S. in the spring reached about 1,500 people at its peak but only counted about one-third as many asylum seekers by the time they reached the border, according to the New York Times. The group was targeted with forced family separations (i.e. child kidnapping) by the Trump administration, with around 250 of those children still not reunited with their parents.
Eric Fish, who represented several migrants in their criminal prosecutions in federal court, said that they were typically mothers, children and young men who had fled violence in their home countries at the hands of gangs or intimate partners.
“It was shocking to me that they were being prosecuted when they were coming here to seek protection from horrific violence,” said Mr. Fish, a trial lawyer at the Federal Defenders of San Diego.
This is the apparent "crisis" we are supposedly facing. Trump is a sick man to be targeting these desperate folks, who are hoping for a better life, with a show of military force intended for actual threats to the U.S. And worse yet, he is doing so purely for political gain—although thus far, his hyping of the fake "caravan" crisis for the past couple weeks hasn't affected the polls at all. What it did do was give one deranged anti-Semitic individual a conspiratorial rationale for going into a synagogue and slaughtering 11 innocent worshippers.
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Monday, Oct 29, 2018 · 10:19:29 PM +00:00
UPDATE: Newsweek reports the military will have “up to 14,000” troops ready to deploy. Deploying with actual weapons will be 5,200 troops, who will join about 2,000 National Guard troops already at the border, for a combined force of around 7,200. What a colossal waste.
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