Washington D.C., Apr 7, 2018 / 05:02 am
Bishops in both the US and Mexico have criticized the Trump administration’s plan to send National Guard troops to the southern border of the United States.
“The new measures on the border US-MX. Once again a senseless action and a disgrace on the administration,” tweeted Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio April 5.
“These measures manifest represion, [sic] fear, a perception that everyone is an enemy, and a very clear message: we don’t care about anybody else. This is not the American Spirit.”
U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order Wednesday to deploy the National Guard.
“A key and undeniable attribute of a sovereign nation is the ability to control who and what enters its territory,” said Trump in the April 4 memo. “The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis. The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people. My administration has no choice but to act.”
The Pentagon stated Thursday that a “security support cell” was being developed to aid coordination between the Homeland Security and the Defense departments. The expected financial costs, number of troops, and time frame have not been announced, but the Pentagon said the cell will support U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
Both the Obama and Bush administrations had ordered the National Guard to attend to the border, but critics of the deployment have questioned the reasons behind this recent move when illegal border crossing is, broadly speaking, at historically low levels.
Fiscal Year 2017 saw nearly 304,000 people caught trying illegally to cross the border, the lowest number of since 1971. The number of apprehenions in March (37,393) is more than double from a year ago, but is less than in 2013 and 2014.