Social 31-10-2018

Caravan advances, military and tents await, according to Trump

Less than a week before the midterm elections in the United States, coupled with the advance of a caravan of Honduran migrants heading to the border of that country with Mexico, President Donald Trump has intensified his attacks and rhetoric against migrants; the most recent includes the sending of soldiers to the border and even the possibility of installing tents to await people requesting asylum.

The Pentagon reported yesterday that it will send some 5,200 soldiers, some of them armed, to the southwest border for an extraordinary military operation with the intention of helping to stop the Central American migrants who are slowly moving in two caravans through Mexico and who are still to several hundred kilometers of American territory.

The figure more than doubles the 2,000 soldiers stationed in Syria to combat the Islamic State group.

President Donald Trump eager to attract the attention of voters to the migration agenda, reiterated his threats against the caravans, to tweet: "It is an invasion of our country and our Army is waiting for you!"

But migrants who complete the long journey to the southern border of the United States already face enormous obstacles - both physical and bureaucratic - to be able to enter that country.


In an interview yesterday, Trump said he would build "tent cities" for those seeking asylum.

"We are going to place tents everywhere," he told Laura Ingraham of Fox News Channel. "We are not going to build structures and spend all this, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars ... we are going to have tents. They will be very nice and they will wait and, if they do not get asylum, they will leave ".

In an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham, the president said that if any of the migrants - who are still hundreds of kilometers away - arrive at the border and request asylum, as is their legal right, the United States plans "Hold them until their trial is carried out."

According to the current protocol, migrants who pass an initial evaluation are often released until a court decides their cases, which may take several years.


The United States Northern Command described the Pentagon's "Operation Patriot Loyal" as an initiative to help the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP) strengthen its defenses at the ports of legal entry and nearby locations. State-of-the-art helicopters will allow border protection agents to go after migrants attempting to enter illegally, said General Terrence O'Shaughnessy of the Air Force and leader of the Northern Command.

The troops will carry concertina-style barbed wire and place it in the open spaces between the ports of entry.

"We will not allow a large group to enter the United States illegally and insecurely," said Kevin McAleenan, CBP commissioner.

About 800 troops are already heading to South Texas, O'Shaughnessy said, and there will be 5 thousand 200 at the end of the week. Some of the troops will be armed. He said the elements will focus on Texas, and later on Arizona and California.

The caravan with around 3,500 migrants has been reduced from the approximately 7,200 members it had a week ago, but a second contingent has already formed with around 600 people who clashed with the Mexican federal police on a border bridge with Guatemala.


"Sending active military forces to the southern border is not only a huge waste of taxpayers' money, but an unnecessary measure that will cause even more panic and militarization of our border communities," said Shaw Drake of the Border Rights Center the American Civil Liberties Union in El Paso, Texas.

Military personnel are prohibited by law from participating in immigration security. The elements deployed include members of the military police, combat engineers and others who will help in the reinforcement of the southern border.

CBP seeks an increase in its personnel to respond to the caravan of Central American migrants. The purpose of the military troops is to provide assistance to the border patrol and not to get directly involved with the migrants.

The White House also weighs additional measures to protect the border, including preventing members of the caravan from seeking legal asylum and preventing their entry into the United States.

Growing rhetoric and anticipated deployments occur at a time when the president is trying to turn the caravan into a key electoral issue just a few days away from the legislative elections that will determine whether Republicans retain control of Congress.

"This will be a choice about (Judge Brett) Kavanaugh, the caravans, the rule of law, the tax cuts and, you know what else? It will be a choice of common sense, "Trump said at a rally on Saturday night in Illinois.

Kavanaugh was confirmed to enter the Supreme Court, but previously a controversy broke out after a former schoolgirl who accused him of sexual misconduct.


The president continued with his threats

when he tweeted, without evidence, that "many gang members and some very bad people are mixed in the caravan that goes to our southern border."

"Please turn around," he exhorted, "they will not be allowed to enter the United States unless they go through the legal process. It is an invasion of our country and our Army is waiting for you! "

Trump's obscure description of the caravan distorts the fact that any of the migrants who complete the long journey to the border already face a series of complicated obstacles, both physical and bureaucratic, before being allowed to enter the United States. . US and international laws give migrants the right to apply for asylum, but doing so may take time. There is already a bottleneck for asylum seekers at several border crossings, and in some cases the waiting list is up to five weeks.

A possible announcement by Trump about additional border measures was tentatively scheduled for today, government officials had said, but the president insisted instead on traveling to Pittsburgh, where an armed man killed eleven people on Saturday inside a synagogue. , in what is believed to be the most deadly attack against Jews in the history of the United States. The presidential spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, did not answer the questions about the caravan and possible border measures.

"We have several options on the table," he said, emphasizing that he would allow the public to know about any speech on immigration matters, but that at the moment he had no knowledge of any.


The troops are expected to perform different functions, such as transporting provisions for the Border Patrol, but not directly involving migrants trying to cross the border from Mexico, officials said. A government official said the troops will initially be sent to transit bases in California, Texas and Arizona, while CBP prepares a plan to establish the precise locations where it wants the troops positioned. The US Transportation Command yesterday posted a video on its Facebook page that shows a C-17 transport plane that, he said, sent military equipment to the southwest border in support of "Operation Patriot Loyal."

The US Army has already begun delivering concrete barriers on the southern border, as part of the deployment plans.

Mattis told the press that he was traveling with him on Sunday that the deployment was still being resolved, but that the additional troops would provide logistical support, among other things, to the Border Patrol and would support the work of the 2,000 National Guard troops that already they are there.

Despite this, migrants interviewed by news agencies have affirmed that despite the warnings, they will continue on their way to the United States in search of the "American Dream".

On Sunday, some members of this caravan had clashed violently with the Federal Police on the border bridge between Guatemala and Mexico, resulting in a dead Honduran.

"They wanted to keep us, but no, we are going to keep walking," Guatemalan Carlos Donis told dpa as he left the customs and migrant sentry post in Ciudad Hidalgo. "Here we go forward and we do not return," added the migrant, who left home 20 days ago.

Also the Honduran Manuel de Jesus said that finally they were given permission to continue, after opposing to stay in a shelter. "They did not want us to leave the good ones," he said. The group decided to spend the night in Frontera Hidalgo, about ten kilometers from Ciudad Hidalgo.


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