ACLU Comment on Trump Administration Sending Army to Southern Border

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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration announced today that it will be sending 5,200 active-duty military troops to the United States’ southern border.

Shaw Drake, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union Border Rights Center in El Paso, Texas, had the following reaction:

“President Trump has chosen just before midterm elections to force the military into furthering his anti-immigrant agenda of fear and division. But this harmful action is nothing more than Trump’s latest aggression against immigrant families with children who seek our protection. These migrants need water, diapers, and basic necessities — not an army division.

“Sending active military forces to our southern border is not only a huge waste of taxpayer money, but an unnecessary course of action that will further terrorize and militarize our border communities. Military personnel are legally prohibited from engaging in immigration enforcement, and there is no emergency or cost-benefit analysis to justify this sudden deployment.

“The reality is that many of the noncitizens arriving at our borders are exercising their right in international and domestic law to seek asylum from violence and persecution at home, unauthorized migration is near historic lows, and border communities have among the lowest crime rates in the country. Members of Congress and voters must reject Trump’s attempt to stoke anti-Latinx fears, and reaffirm that like many of our families, these immigrants join the long American tradition of coming here in search of a better life. They should be welcomed with humanitarian assistance and must be given full and prompt due process, not condemned using absurd war rhetoric.”

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