US states sending militia, police to the Mexican border
A group of Republican controlled US states are sending police and national guardsmen to the US-Mexico border sparking criticism from the leaders of migrant communities.
The governors of Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota have all committed to sending personnel to the border as conservative figures decry the Biden Administration’s handling of irregular immigration from Mexico.
US Customs and Border Protection has reported a surge in migrant encounters and arrests at the Southern border since Biden began his presidency in January.
But the US oldest Hispanic advocacy group has called on President Biden to use his presidential powers to stop the privately-funded deployment.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have called on Mr Biden to use his executive authority to stop South Dakota’s governor from deploying up to 50 National Guard troops to the border in response to a request from Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott.
It also urges him to stop similar efforts by the governors of other states, which have all committed to send members of local law enforcement agencies to help Texas’ efforts to prevent unauthorised border crossings.
South Dakota’s deployment of National Guard resources is being funded privately by Republican Party donor, the Willis and Reba Johnson’s Foundation from Franklin, Tennessee.
“President Biden, as the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and the militia of the several states, you have authority to prevent this usurping of federal powers by a few recalcitrant and rebellious states,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC’s national president.
“We expect our national government to intercede and not allow the rhetoric of voices bent on increasing hate and violence in our communities. Efforts such as these contribute to the climate in America where gun violence and hate crimes have become rampant against Latinos and Asian Americans,” Mr Garcia said.
The deployments come as Vice President Kamala Harris is leading the Biden administration’s efforts to address a rising trend of migration towards the US from Central America, and has faced Republican criticism for not visiting the border itself sooner.
The Arizona and Texas Republican governors urged in an open letter to other states last month the sending of additional manpower to the southern border.
President Biden has reversed his predecessor Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required that asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases are pending in the US immigration court system, despite having passed a “credible fear” screening that they may be at risk of persecution in their home country.