Friday, January 28

Governor of South Dakota uses private funds to send troops to the border with Mexico | South Dakota


South Dakota Republican Governor Kristi Noem is deploying up to 50 National Guard soldiers to the southern border of the United States, responding to a call from Texas Governor Greg Abbott to help her deal with an increase in border crossings, although most migrants have. has been sent back to Mexico.

Noem said in a statement Tuesday that it was responding to its request for assistance in responding to “ongoing violations of state and federal laws by illegal aliens crossing the unsafe border.”

Abbott reissued a disaster declaration Tuesday, saying that some border counties were partnering with the state to push for arrests and detention of people “for crimes related to the border crisis.”

Noem, a longtime supporter of former President Donald Trump who focused heavily on keeping asylum seekers and other immigrants out of the country, said the initial deployment of guard troops will last between 30 and 60 days.

The deployment is paid for with a private donation, which some say is unusual.

“I’ve never heard of something like this before,” said Dan Grazier, a military member of the Straus Military Reform Project, which is run by the Defense Information Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization in DC that analyzes military affairs.

He said the deployment set a worrying precedent and ran the risk of politicizing the military.

In a public statement, he said that South Dakota Adjutant General Jeff Marlette and the South Dakota military department were working with their counterparts in Texas to finalize the details of the deployment. The governor’s office declined to provide further details, citing security reasons.

“The Biden administration has failed in the most basic duty of the federal government: to keep the American people safe,” said Noem. “The border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response that only the national guard can provide.” He said the Biden administration appeared “unable or unwilling to resolve” the border issues. “My message to Texas is this: Help is on the way,” he said.

The US Customs and Border Protection Office said it detained 180,034 migrants, mostly single adults, in May. That number has risen slightly from 178,854 in April to 172,000 in March, and was the highest monthly total since April 2000. Many are traveling to the border to seek asylum as their own countries face economic turmoil fueled by the coronavirus pandemic. Others are also fleeing political persecution and gang violence, including many Haitian immigrants concerned about the plight of President Jovenel Moïse. effort to stay in power.

Despite hopes that the US will reopen its borders, a large number of people have been expelled under a Trump-era policy called Title 42, ostensibly to stop the possible spread of Covid-19. Of the 180,034 people found in May, more than 112,300 were turned away, according to border patrol figures. Unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 are exempt from the rule and are allowed to enter the country and be in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Still, Abbott, who is seeking reelection next year, has spent several months saying that the growth of border crossings has led to an increase in crime in Texas and continues to seek additional state resources to make arrests.

The Washington Post reports Noem’s spokesman, Ian Fury, said Willis and the Reba Johnson Foundation paid the state of South Dakota a donation of an undisclosed amount. The Tennessee-based nonprofit previously donated to Trump and the National Rifle Association.

“The armed forces are supposed to be used to advance our national security interests and ensure the safety of all citizens, not just the whims of a few private individuals with the means to pay for their services,” Grazier said.

Abbott recently said it would reallocate $ 250 million in state funds to pay a wall on the southern border, and additionally received $ 459,000 in private donations, according to the Texas Tribune.


www.theguardian.com

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