The current president of the United States has signed off on the deployment of the National Guard along the U.S.-Mexico border despite the fact that border crossings are at the lowest point since the early 1970’s.
The order comes on the heels of the president’s scheme to have the military foot the bill for his most infamous campaign promise – the border wall – and followed by his repetition of disturbing comments regarding the rape of immigrant women.
All these incidents follow an unhinged presidential Twitter rant on April 1 which focused in on a caravan of immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. through Mexico, whom the president claims are coming to the country to capitalize on DACA — a program that the president himself killed in September 2017.
In some ways, you would think that this would have happened sooner; it was, after all, the president’s most popular — and unpopular — claim during his candidacy.
And yet, the absurdity and audacity of all of it is so beyond the pale that it is nearly impossible to comprehend even when it’s happening in real time rather than in theory.
For now, Defense Secretary James Mattis has signed off on the deployment of 4,000 National Guard troops to the border.
The president claimed that the U.S.-Mexico border is “imperiled” by the influx of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, despite the study released last fall by the Department of Homeland Security which stated that the border is more secure now than at any point in history.
His concern seems to be rooted in his discovery of an immigrant caravan attempting to cross from Honduras into Mexico and potentially the U.S. to apply legally for refugee status.
He claims that the women in this caravan, and immigrant women in general, “are raped at levels that nobody has ever seen before,” returning to his racist campaign assertions that Mexico and countries in Central America are sending their criminals northwards.
His recent discovery of the group is further proof of this president’s unique ignorance of global affairs — even those in the countries closest to his own — since the group he so viciously attacked is actually part of an annual movement to gain refugee status and sanctuary.
But, as we have discussed before, our current president has a singular disregard for fact and reality.
He apparently has equally little regard for his own promises, as he has once again backed away from pressuring Mexico to pay for his infamous border wall and is now pushing for the U.S. military to foot the bill instead.
This is by all appearances in reaction to the $1.3 trillion military spending bill Congress passed and which the president threatened to veto over its lack of more substantial funding for his wall.
Considering he has fumbled for a funding source for the last year, we can’t be surprised that he is now grasping for whatever option he possibly can.
His suggestion is backed only by his claims that the situation at the border wall constitutes a threat to national security, which, again, comes amidst evidence that our border is more secure than ever before and that border crossings are at a four-decade low.
Although the president is most likely correct in his assumption that a $1.3 trillion spending bill could probably spare a couple billion for his wall, such reallocation of funds would require a 60-vote majority in the Senate; the success of which becomes increasingly unlikely as the Republican majority declines.
So, here’s where we stand: our president has sent at least 4,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, further escalating and militarizing our relations with one of our closest neighbors even as he continues to insult entire continents’ worth of people and cultures, further shaming and alienating the U.S. from all sane and compassionate political bodies.
Really, all we can do is try and remind ourselves and others that this is not normal, and to continue to speak out against these racist policies and social outbursts.
The moment we start to become numb to it is the moment we become passively accepting of it — and that is the moment we lose.