Donald Trump’s White House discussions still echo in Washington. The latest is the strategy of sending 250,000 soldiers to the border with Mexico to stop the migratory wave in the spring of 2020, according to anonymous sources from the Republican Administration cited this Tuesday by The New York Times. It is not clear if the idea came from advisers to the Department of Homeland Security or the Pentagon, but it was stopped short by then-Defense Secretary Mark Epster. The president would fire him months later, when he had already lost reelection.
The plan to mobilize a quarter of a million soldiers, the largest use of the Army within the United States since the Civil War, came to the Northern Command (Northcom), whose responsibility is to defend the country’s territory – and its borders – with an area of operations that extends from Alaska to the Caribbean. The sources cited by the Times They clarified that the proposal was never formally presented to Trump for approval, but that it was discussed in the Oval Office, among other alternatives to control the migratory flow in the midst of a pandemic.
The ultra-conservative Stephen Miller, face of the immigration policy of the last stage of the Republican president, was the one who commissioned the workers of the Department of Homeland Security to design a plan to block the nearly 4,000 kilometers of border with Mexico. When Miller arrived at the White House with the idea of deploying more than half of the active soldiers of the US Army, Epster was enraged, always according to the account of those consulted by the American newspaper.
The Trump Administration finally decided to invoke a public health order to expel migrants detained at the border with Mexico in March 2020. The rule known as Title 42 is an exception in the US health law that allows deportation ” hot ”from the undocumented and asylum seekers. The measure, strongly criticized by international organizations that defend civil rights, continues under the government of Democrat Joe Biden. In an action that sparked surprise and outrage on the left, Biden last August renewed the emergency directive.
Almost in parallel with the troop discussion, Trump pressured his top brass to send security forces to Mexico to capture drug cartel leaders, according to former administration employees. High-ranking national security collaborators curbed the Republican’s idea by explaining that the rest of the planet could interpret the military raids within the neighboring country as an act of war by Washington against one of its closest allies and main trading partner. The argument made the president desist from another of his ideas that continue to resonate almost a year after he left the White House.
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