Fulfilling a “disturbing” proposal first floated during a meeting with Baltic leaders on Tuesday, President Donald Trump directed the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security on Wednesday to begin working with American governors to deploy the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border “immediately”—a move some have speculated is the result of Fox News coverage of the “caravans” of migrants headed toward the U.S.
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen announced Trump’s move during a press briefing on Wednesday and said the president will soon “be signing a proclamation” making the decision official, but did not offer any details on the number of troops being deployed to the border or how long they will be there.
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When asked whether Trump’s decision to deploy troops to the border was influenced by Fox‘s coverage of the migrant “caravan”—which largely consists of Honduran asylum seekers fleeing violence—both Nielson and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodged.
In response to news of Trump’s plan, Marselha Gonçalves Margerin of Amnesty International argued in a statement that militarizing the border in an effort to prevent asylum seekers from reaching safety “could put the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people in grave danger.”
“Instead of recklessly trying to block their pathway to safety, the Trump administration has an obligation to protect all those seeking refuge and to respect their right to claim asylum,” Margerin said. “To deny them that right would be a serious violation of both U.S. and international law.”