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Along U.S.-Mexico border, a growing opposition to military deployment

13 Comments
By ASTRID GALVAN

Amy Juan drove two hours north from her remote community on the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona to rally against the deployment of troops there.

She's one of many residents of the Southwest who oppose and are speaking out against President Donald Trump's deployment of over 5,000 military troops to the border to fend off a slow-moving caravan of Central American migrants headed to the U.S.

In El Paso, Texas, a march is planned to protest the deployment this weekend. In Laredo, the city's mayor released a statement referring to the deployment as "false efforts" that will "harm morale and damage the economy of our region."

"Even though our communities are all very different and diverse, we all experience the same thing, which are the effects of militarization at the border," said Juan, who was one of several speakers at a news conference in Phoenix on Thursday. "Having an increased presence of military is scary, you know. It's scary."

Juan is a member of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which sits on about 75 miles along the international border. Residents of the reservation have long had a complicated relationship with the U.S. Border Patrol, and its leadership has been vocal about its opposition to the president's plans for a border wall.

"I find the fact that the military is being deployed absolutely terrifying. The amount of militarization that we already experience on a daily basis and that we are currently living under is like living in a waking nightmare," said Eva Lewis, a resident of the small town of Arivaca just north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Many residents of Arivaca have spent years battling the Border Patrol's checkpoints, which require everyone who cross them to stop and declare whether they are citizens. Trips to school or the grocery store require passing through checkpoints, and many residents say that agents discriminate against Latinos in the area.

In Nogales, Arizona, which shares a name with its neighbor to the south, residents said they were distressed, confused and shocked when the military showed up on election day to install barbed wire on a border fence, according to the Nogales International newspaper.

As of Thursday, there are over 5,600 troops deployed at the border. There are 2,800 in Texas, while 1,500 are in Arizona and another 1,300 are in California.

The military expects to have most of the over 7,000 troops planned for the mission deployed by Monday.

But not everyone opposes the military presence.

Jim Chilton, an Arizona border rancher and staunch Trump supporter, said in a news release to the AP this week that he looks forward to the arrival of more troops. Chilton said the 25 miles of international border in Arivaca is poorly secured and actively sees drug smuggling and human trafficking.

"The lack of access and infrastructure, cartel scout presence, and rough terrain and inefficient 'defense in depth' strategy creates a de facto 'no man's land' in which border ranchers live and work," Chilton said.

Despite rhetoric about the Central American migrant caravan, illegal immigration to the U.S. is at historic lows, with only a fraction of arrests made by the Border Patrol — and twice the number of agents — made this year compared with 2000, at the height of illegal activity.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
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And when that opposition grows a little stronger Trump will say he never suggested it.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Okay fine they have the right to gather & peacefully protest. But once they start confrontation, obstruct, resist & delay Law Enforcement/military from protecting our border they should be arrested.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

"I find the fact that the military is being deployed absolutely terrifying. The amount of militarization that we already experience on a daily basis and that we are currently living under is like living in a waking nightmare," 

Unfortunately, it's meant to terrify.

The response is meant not just to send fear into the hearts of poor migrants but also American citizens.

This is how fascism works.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

But once they start confrontation, obstruct, resist & delay Law Enforcement/military from protecting our border they should be arrested.

I think you meant "if," not "But once." Unless you're jumping to conclusions.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"I find the fact that the military is being deployed absolutely terrifying. The amount of militarization that we already experience on a daily basis and that we are currently living under is like living in a waking nightmare,"

The frog is starting to notice the water in the soup pot is getting a little warm.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The troops aren’t allowed to do anything. They won’t be interacting with the migrants, if they even arrive. The whole thing is about creating a satisfying mental imagine of US troops shooting them for Trump fans.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The US military is going to the border in support of CBP. The troops aren't there to fight, police. They will be there to move boxes, deliver food, stuff like that.

It is illegal for the US military to do anything except support roles inside the USA.

I expect the only military people who will have weapons will be the military police, which travel to provide police for the military guys (young men on deployment get restless).

70% of Americans want our border controlled and illegally entering immigrants stopped. Saw this stat on election night.

Trump also suggested that he could refuse asylum for anyone entering the USA illegally. While I might prefer that, it is illegal. There is a US Law that specifically allows asylum requests by anyone, legal or not, inside the USA. President can't make that law go away. He can challenge it in court, however, but he will likely lose.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"It is illegal for the US military to do anything except support roles inside the USA."

Oh well, so much for containing Russia, China or North Korea then.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

If the invaders are so desirable, perhaps they should be loaded on a boat and shipped to other very far off countries.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Unfortunately, it's meant to terrify.

Yes.

The response is meant not just to send fear into the hearts of poor migrants but also American citizens. 

No, just the illegals. You want to come to America, do it legally, nothing mean or racist about it, that’s how it works

This is how fascism works.

Not sealing the border is. I totally agree.

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2018/10/23/new-poll-voters-want-the-caravan-invasion-stopped-at-the-border-n2531133

The troops aren’t allowed to do anything.

Provided they don’t start physically attack them which then changes everything. If they do, the military are allowed to use justifiable force.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

A wall will do no good. Troops will do no good. Barbed wire will do no good.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A wall will do no good.

The Israelis would tell you something different.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Israelis would tell you something different.

Nope. Seems rockets fly into Israel and freedom fighters tunnel in quite often.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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