By: Tracy Carrothers – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
On April 3, 2018, President Trump announced that he intends to send the military to the US-Mexico border until the wall is built. He dropped this delightful little nugget during a luncheon with Baltic leaders and failed to clarify much of anything at a later joint press conference. He did say that he had a meeting “in a little while” with Mattis and others on the issue.
This kind of shoot from the hip word flinging isn’t anything new from 45, but it still leaves me with the inclination to throw my phone across the room. Luckily, for me and my phone that I am ridiculously glued to at all times, I opted for research. The usual questions that come to mind when faced with our daily dose of chaotic fuckery from this administration:
Why, why, why?
Can he do that? (covered in Part 2)
Was this an announcement of immediate military mobilization of troops on our border or just an outburst? The New York Times states that it seemed to be “more about political messaging than practical action.” That said, they also report that Trump did meet with Mattis and his national security advisors earlier to discuss action which included the possibility of the National Guard being sent in. No decisions were made. Meanwhile, Trump embarked on a twitter tirade featuring his anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Why, why, why? This is his go-to way of dealing with frustrations, criticisms, FOX news reports, and heat from Mueller. Calm and strategic the guy is not. Reactive is the name of the game.
With a restless and angry base, a budget with no wall funding furthered the suspicion that he is not going to get their immigration reform and wall finished. So in the face of lagging support the guy whose opening tune was an insult of Mexicans threw out something for his base: a lot of fear-based rhetoric and promises of military support at the border.
And then there is the caravan. A group of around one thousand people are traveling from Honduras through Mexico towards the US border. Some hope to gain asylum to escape the violence, crime, and poverty in their country. Others plan to settle in Mexico, and a few others say they will attempt to slip into the US unchecked. This caravan, not the first of its kind, is comprised of men, women, and children. Adolfo Flores, National Security correspondent with Buzzfeed is reporting on the people fleeing their impoverished homeland and it is worth reading (https://twitter.com/aflores). FOX news describes the caravan as “a small migrant army marching towards the United States.”
Trump is using this moment, with these people moving en masse to look for safety and security as an opportunity to drive home his “pouring over the border” false narrative.
The unfortunate reality is that while militarization of our borders takes the spotlight the human loss, the human stories, the human pain of walking days on end, the sorrow of leaving home behind and the desperation that drives one to take that kind of risk…those stories and those realities get lost in this current landscape. Fear-based tactics suck up all of the air and deprive us of the space we need to view this for what it is: a humanitarian crisis that needs empathy, strategy, and long-term vision.
Part 2 will address the “can he do that?” What is the law on the sending of troops domestically by the President? President Bush and Obama did. How?
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