Human Rights First Denounces Troop Deployments to Southern Border
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, the governors of Virginia, South Carolina, and West Virginia announced deployments of National Guard personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border, following announcements from Florida, Mississippi, Idaho, Tennessee, and Iowa. These announcements, as well as President Biden sending 1,500 troops to the border last month, serve little purpose beyond politicizing our military, enabling extremism, and dehumanizing migrants.
“Sending troops to the border is a political stunt that empowers xenophobic, anti-immigrant extremism,” said Human Rights First President and CEO Michael Breen. “Troops are proscribed by law from engaging in law enforcement activity and cannot provide meaningful relief at the border. Their deployment provides no meaningful relief; they only serve to politicize our military. While we hardly expect these to be the last deployments, service-members should never be used as political props to vilify migrants.”
The deployments come despite recent statistics showing immigration figures show border encounters have dropped 56% since Title 42 was lifted nearly three weeks ago.
Many states deploying their National Guards are sending just a handful of troops, underscoring the political nature of these deployments. Nebraska, for example, is sending ten servicemembers.
Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First, recently released a fact sheet on the consequences of these actions and how veterans can stand against this politicization. Human Rights First also released a fact sheet detailing the connection between xenophobic, racist rhetoric and the mainstreaming of extremism.