Former President Barack Obama has accused Donald Trump of staging a “political stunt” by involving active duty military members in the affairs of U.S. border and customs agents anticipating the arrival of a caravan of migrants that are currently making their way up from Central America.
Fox News reports that Obama made the charge while speaking at a rally benefitting the candidacy of gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in Miami, Florida, on Friday, November 2. After reminding them about some of the fear-mongering that Republicans used against his administration throughout his two terms in office, Obama encouraged supporters in attendance at the Ice Palace film studio not to feed into any of the fear tactics their red rivals may spring upon them the days leading up to the November 6 midterm election date.
The designation of some 5,200 troops to help block the potential entry of the migrants and the placement of an additional 7,000 on standby would be one such tactic — and not one that sounds very fair to the service members who will used in the mission, said Obama.
“They’re telling you the existential threat to America is a bunch of poor refugees 1,000 miles away. They’re even taking our brave troops away from their families for a political stunt at the border. And the men and women of our military deserve better than that,” he told the crowd of Florida voters.
JUST IN!!! Soldiers arrive in Harlingen, TX near the U.S/Mexico border to conduct the first missions in support of Operation FAITHFUL PATRIOT. Harlingen is one of 5 Texas locations that will be a Base Support Installation to help with the response at the border. #kens5eyewitness pic.twitter.com/O0svisWvaO— Luke Simons (@LukeKENS5) November 1, 2018
Luke Simons, the discovery desk manager with KENS 5 CBS in San Antonio, has been updating followers on the arrival of the force that will be deployed to take on the so-called Operation Faithful Patriot mission. Along with ranking officers ready to assist with the planning process, Simons reports that medical units, engineering battalions, and tactical personnel are currently setting up the installations that will be positioned for use pending the expected arrival of undocumented civilians.
Trump’s rhetoric and proposals on immediate measures to secure the border have become more and more militant with each day that has gone by since news of the caravan became the focal point of his midterm campaigning strategy. The past several days have seen the president vow to abolish birthright citizenship, while promising to deal with any attempts at legal entry through the border with force. As has been reported in Defense News, his quip about meeting rock-throwing civilians with rifles was even criticized by respected members of the armed forces.
Among the military voices that have proven most critical of Trump’s remarks has been former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey, who expressed confidence that uniformed members would act more responsibly than the White House has suggested.
“A wasteful deployment of over-stretched Soldiers and Marines would be made much worse if they use force disproportional to the threat they face. They won’t,” General Dempsey said.
.@USArmy Col. Hayes, Logistics Officer, Task Force 51 @USArmyNorth, gives in-processing brief to 89th Military Police and 541st Engineering Company in support of Operation FAITHFUL PATRIOT at @JBSA_Official - Lackland AFB. These soldiers will assist DHS along U.S./Mexico border. pic.twitter.com/0EGh3pXoDf— Luke Simons (@LukeKENS5) November 1, 2018