There’d Be No Crisis at the Border Without Trump’s Troops

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is traveling to McAllen, Texas, today to visit some of the thousands of troops deployed at the U.S.-Mexico border by President Donald Trump. Nearly 6,000 active-duty troops are currently stationed in Texas, California and Arizona, following Trump’s escalating attacks against the Central American caravan heading toward the border. Trump has warned that that number could swell to 15,000—more than the U.S. forces in Afghanistan and almost triple the number of troops in Iraq. According to some reports, the border deployments could cost $220 million, despite the fact the Pentagon does not see the caravan as a risk. Mattis’s visit comes just days after the Trump administration announced new immigration rules to deny asylum to anyone who enters the country outside of a port of entry, a move the American Civil Liberties Union has called “illegal.” We speak with Fernando Garcia, the founding director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an advocacy organization based in El Paso. We also speak with Liz Castillo, immigration reporter and managing editor with Neta, a community news outlet in the Rio Grande Valley.

Transcript

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to the U.S.-Mexico border, as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis travels to McAllen, Texas, today to visit some of the thousands of troops deployed there by President Trump. Nearly 6,000 active-duty troops are currently stationed in Texas, California and Arizona, following Trump’s escalating attacks against the Central American caravan heading toward the U.S. in the run-up to the midterms. Trump has warned that the number could swell to 15,000—more than the U.S. forces in Afghanistan and almost triple the number of troops in Iraq. According to some reports, the border deployment could cost $220 million, despite the fact that the Pentagon does not see the caravan as a risk. A few hundred migrants from Central American caravans have arrived in the border town of Tijuana Tuesday as the vast…

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