TRUMP ALLOWS US TROOPS AT BORDER TO USE LETHAL FORCE AGAINST IMMIGRANTS

TRUMP TO TROOPS: ‘THESE ARE ROUGH PEOPLE’

Troop deployment to cost  +$72M

US President Donald Trump has authorized troops on the Southwest border with Mexico to use lethal force in order to protect Customs and Border Protection personnel from incoming migrants, according to the Pentagon.

Central American migrants gather in El Chapparal, Tijuana, Mexico near border. AFP photo

Department of Defense spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza confirmed to CNN that earlier reports about the White House memo were correct and the Pentagon was now allowed to carry out operations such as “crowd control, temporary detention and cursory search.”

A leaked copy of the document showed that the troops were free to resort to “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary)” in order to fulfill those tasks.

Some of thousands of migrants waiting for entry to the U.S.

Department of Defense spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza confirmed to CNN that earlier reports about the White House memo were correct and the Pentagon was now allowed to carry out operations such as “crowd control, temporary detention and cursory search.”

A leaked copy of the document showed that the troops were free to resort to “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary)” in order to fulfill those tasks. 

Referring to “credible evidence and intelligence,” the document warns that migrant caravans originating from Central America “may prompt incidents of violence and disorder that could threaten US Customs and Border personnel” as the reason for the decision.

Trump has sent thousands of active duty troops to the border with Mexico in order to repel a massive immigrant caravan that is making its way through Mexico and is weeks away from reaching the US border.

Some argue that active duty troops are barred from detaining and searching people on US soil, something prohibited under the Posse Comitatus Act because such activities are tantamount to law enforcement.

However, the memo, signed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, states that the troops “shall not, without further direction from the President, conduct traditional civilian law enforcement activities, such as arrest, search, and seizure.”

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis toned down concerns about violence at the border, claiming that the military would only act in defense of border patrol.

“On detention we do not have arrest authority, detention — I would put it in terms of minutes, in other words if someone’s beating on a border patrolman and if we were in a position to have to do something about it we could stop them from beating on them and take them over and deliver them to a border patrolman who would then arrest them for it,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday.

“There’s no violation of Posse Comitatus, there’s no violation here at all we’re not going to arrest or anything else,” he added.

The memo is addressed to Mattis, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. 

US Border Patrol officer asks for visas behind barriers set by US at San Ysidro Port of Entry 11 19 18 AFP Photo

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US federal judge blocks the Trump administration’s asylum ban for migrants who enter the US illegally.

Nielsen warned at a speech along the border earlier this week that more than 9,000 migrants from two different caravans were going to attempt to enter the US.

“The crisis is real, and it is just on the other side of this wall,” she said pointing to protective fences and barbed wires installed to deny the migrants illegal entrance.

Mattis noted that “there has been no call for any lethal force from DHS,” and the military troops would not be carrying firearms but could be equipped with shields and batons.

The Pentagon says the Pentagon border mission will cost taxpayers approximately $72 million. Mattis said the cost was likely to increase as the mission was likely to be extended.

Trump has said he will deploy as many as 15,000 troops.

TRUMP CLOSES PARTS OF BORDER; AUTHORIZES LETHAL FORCE V. MIGRANTS

Toluse Olorunnipa, Bloomberg

Published 11:28 a.m. ET Nov. 22, 2018 | Updated 1:08 p.m. ET Nov. 22, 2018

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he’s signed an order to close the U.S. border with Mexico, adding that he’s authorized troops to use lethal force against migrants who attempt to enter the U.S.

“If they have to,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, claiming without evidence that at least 500 criminals are among migrants trying to enter the U.S. “So I’m not going to let the military be taken advantage of. I have no choice. Do I want that to happen? Absolutely not. But you’re dealing with rough people.”

He also said that he would welcome a partial shutdown of the government o Trump said he had signed the order two days ago and that “I’ve already shutdown parts of the border.” He warned that the entire border may be closed if conflict with migrants escalates.

Trump’s luxurious family estate at Mar-a-Lago contrasts sharply with homes and current living conditions of migrants.

“If we find that its uncontrollable,” he said, “if we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control or people are going to start getting hurt, we will close entry into the country for a period of time until we can get it under control.”

“The whole border,” he continued. “I mean the whole border. And Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States where they make so many cars at great benefit to them, not at great benefit to us.”

The White House hasn’t released the order and Trump wasn’t clear about his directive. The White House didn’t immediately respond to questions about Trump’s comments.

Before the midterm elections in which Republicans lost control of the House, Trump ordered the military to reinforce the southern border, repeatedly warning voters about a so-called “caravan” of migrants making its way from Central America to the U.S. His critics called the deployment a political stunt.

Trump with “Great Wall of Mexico.”

Next week, Congress returns for its post-election “lame duck” session in which a top priority will be to authorize full fiscal 2019 spending plans for several agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the National Park Service. Temporary funding for the agencies expires Dec. 7. Congress already approved full-year spending for most of the U.S. government, meaning any shutdown would be limited.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to veto spending bills if Congress continues to refuse to fund the wall, and with Democrats poised to take over the House in January, the president could force the issue in the lame-duck session.

Related:

THOUSANDS IN U.S.-BOUND MIGRANT CARAVAN POUR INTO MEXICAN CITY, CHALLENGE U.S. PRES. TRUMP

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