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Active U.S. troops are ‘standing guard over migrants’ in Texas

Active U.S. troops are ‘standing guard over migrants’ in a Texas holding facility run by Customs and Border Protection

  • Active-duty U.S troops are reportedly standing guard over migrants in a holding facility run by Customs and Border Protection in the Texas town of Donna 
  • Troops are monitoring migrant adults and children from just feet away
  • They have been standing guard on raised platforms at various points in a room where migrants are held 
  • Officials say they were initially just brought in to help provide welfare checks on migrants but are now guarding them
  • Thousands of active duty and National Guard troops have already been deployed for months along the U.S.-Mexico border to support immigration officials 

Active-duty U.S troops are reportedly standing guard over migrants in a Texas holding facility run by Customs and Border Protection. 

The troops are monitoring migrant adults and children from just feet away inside the facility in Donna, defense officials have told NBC. 

The service members, who are not armed, have been standing guard on raised platforms at various points in a room where migrants are held.

While officials say they were initially brought in to help provide welfare checks on migrants, the troops are now constantly watching over the migrants. 

Thousands of active duty and National Guard troops have already been deployed for months along the U.S.-Mexico border to support immigration officials.

Active-duty U.S troops are reportedly standing guard over migrants in a holding facility run by Customs and Border Protection in the Texas town of Donna. Asylum seeker are pictured at the facility on July 12

Under U.S. law, military personnel are not allowed to directly interact with migrants and are banned from carrying out law enforcement functions within the country. 

The officials say the troops are required to alert border protection officers if there is a problem but they are allowed to intervene if urgent medical care is required.  

A defense official has denied the reports that active troops are guarding the migrants and said they are simply monitoring them. 

Democratic California Rep. John Garamendi told NBC that the presence of the troops was ‘teetering on the edge’ of the law. 

‘It’s not the role of the U.S. military to be a prison guard,’ he said, adding that is was ‘mission creep’ and could put troops ‘in a precarious legal situation’. 

Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security requested 1,000 additional soldiers to help manage the migrant crisis in Texas amid growing outcry over conditions in migrant detention facilities. 

The Pentagon said at the time that they had been asked to authorize the Texas National Guard to lend support to border officials who say they are overwhelmed by the numbers of refugees crossing the border. 

‘DHS requests authorization for 1,000 Texas National Guard members… to provide supplemental holding and Port of Entry enforcement support to CBP within the State of Texas,’ the statement said.

Thousands of active duty and National Guard troops have already been deployed for months along the U.S.-Mexico border to support immigration officials

Thousands of active duty and National Guard troops have already been deployed for months along the U.S.-Mexico border to support immigration officials

The guard members would help manage border protection-run holding facilities for single, adult migrants in the towns of Donna and Tornillo.

They will also provide support at ports of entry and commercial airports in El Paso and Laredo, in order to improve border security and traffic flow.  

Homeland Security has been criticized of late after a report from its inspector general, a watchdog, warned about ‘dangerous overcrowding’ in migrant detention facilities in Texas.

The report included images taken at several Texas sites that showed dozens of migrants, including young children, packed shoulder to shoulder into cage-like holding areas or cells.

Most single adults had not had a shower in a month and were being given wet wipes. Some detainees were suffering from constipation after a diet consisting only of bologna sandwiches.

The report came a day after a group of Democratic lawmakers toured the detention centers and denounced the conditions as ‘horrifying.’

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who toured two such centers, told reporters the migrants were being subjected to ‘abuse.’

‘They put them in a room with no running water and these women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet,’ she said upon returning to New York.

CBP deputy commissioner Robert Perez, appearing on CNN, said the detention centers were ‘never designed to deal with the volume of migrants coming our way’ and the Border Patrol is doing its best to deal with ‘absolutely oversaturated conditions.’

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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