US “border security”: Troops, torture, barbaric prisons


US “border security”: Troops, torture, barbaric prisons

Patrick Martin

5 February 2019

The Pentagon has confirmed that it is deploying an additional 3,750 troops to the US-Mexico border, continuing the build-up of repressive forces directed against defenseless immigrants and refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

Some of the 3,750 soldiers will replace those being rotated out of the border area, but there will be a sizeable net increase of at least 2,000. The total number of troops, regular and National Guard, will be more than 6,000, the largest force deployed to the southern border since 1917, when General John J. Pershing led a punitive expedition against Pancho Villa during the Mexican Revolution.

The confirmation of the troop deployment Sunday came only two days before President Trump is to give the State of the Union speech at the US Capitol building, in which a major focus is expected to be border security. Trump forced a partial shutdown of the US government for 35 days in an effort to force Congress to approve $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall.

The White House had to back down January 26, agreeing to a three-week reopening of the government while House and Senate negotiators discussed the budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which includes both Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The House-Senate conference must reach agreement by February 8 to give time for congressional approval of a bipartisan deal by February 15. Otherwise there will be another shutdown, or Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency and use funds appropriated for some other purpose, such as military construction, to build the wall.

In discussions with reporters last week, Trump hinted that he might declare the…

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