Progressives Unite on Investigation of Troop Deployment at U.S. Southern Border


For Immediate Release: Monday, September 23, 2019

Washington, DC – Win Without War, United We Dream, and the Southern Border Communities Coalition applaud the united effort among progressives inside and outside Congress to call for an investigation into the politicization and misuse of U.S. troops and Pentagon resources at the U.S. southern border. 

Today, a group of 34 Members of the United States House of Representatives, led by Representative Raúl Grijalva (AZ-3), took action to investigate the politicization of our military and to protect the health and safety of people seeking refuge at the U.S. southern border. In a letter sent to the Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Defense, Glenn A. Fine, the Representatives urged the Inspector General to investigate the misuse and politicization of U.S. military personnel and resources, including for potential Posse Comitatus Act and other legal violations. 

The letter is supported by more than thirty national organizations representing tens of millions of Americans and a broad cross-section of communities across the United States, including immigration, foreign policy, human rights, civil rights, veterans, climate, faith, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, peace and security. In addition, a group of ten national organizations, led by Daily Kos and Win Without War, launched a public action to echo demands for answers about Donald Trump’s militarization of the U.S. southern border last week. 

There are approximately 7,000 military service-members, including nearly 3,600 active-duty troops, at the U.S. southern border. The deployment marks an unprecedented militarization of the border, threatens fundamental laws and norms that seek to keep the U.S. military separate from domestic law enforcement, and serves as an extension of the Trump administration’s mounting cruel and inhumane anti-immigrant and anti-asylum policies. 

Vicki B. Gaubeca of the Southern Border Communities Coalition said:

“Trump’s continued attempts to raid military funds for the extra cash to build his wall will only jeopardize the diverse, welcoming and hopeful binational character of the southern border region. We applaud Rep. Grijalva and Congress’ investigations into Trump’s cash grabs as an important first step against Trump’s despotic overreach, and in the coming weeks, we urge Congress to resist Trump’s threats and theatrics, and not give in to his demands for even more money to fund his hate-fueled, anti-immigrant onslaught.”

Sanaa Abrar, Advocacy Director of United We Dream said: 

“The Trump administration continues to terrorize immigrants and refugees at the border with an increased militarized presence, greeting asylum seekers with tear gas and guns. Earlier this month, the Trump administration started the process of diverting $3.6 billion from the Pentagon to fund his racist border wall. We need to end military presence at the border, as well as cut Pentagon funding, instead redirecting those funds to meet priority domestic and human needs. This also means holding other government agencies, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) accountable for the billions that are diverted to these agencies which fund mass deportation and torture of immigrant communities.” 

Stephen Miles, Executive Director of Win Without War, a national progressive foreign policy organization said:

“The separation between the U.S. military and domestic law enforcement underpins the preservation of democracy and Americans’ civil liberties. We applaud the leadership of Rep. Grijalva and the other members of Congress for reaffirming the importance of civilian control over the military and the public’s right to know whether laws are being broken. The reality is our troops should not be used as armed human walls for advancing Donald Trump’s racism and cruelty at the U.S. southern border. We need urgent action to safeguard the rule of law and humanity of all people seeking refuge and asylum at our borders.”

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