Saturday, November 2, 2019

Democrats' defense bill would force Pentagon to reveal troop locations on Mexico border

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster
A provision in House Democrats’ defense policy bill would require the Pentagon to reveal locations of every troop deployment on the U.S.-Mexico border, including where they are housed, raising fears among activists that the language is intended to be a road map for antifa attacks on American soldiers.
Democrats say the new provision “formalizes” information the Defense Department already provides, though with a new focus to reflect the realities of President Trump’s border policies.
But the demand — and particularly the request for housing information — struck Andrew R. Arthur, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, as nefarious.
“Think about the harm that could come from the disclosure of such information,” Mr. Arthur wrote in a memo questioning the reason for the language. “Imagine what would happen if it became public that the Holiday Inn in Yuma houses troops who are supporting [Customs and Border Protection]?”
He said anti-enforcement activists could organize boycotts of establishments that provide the housing. Worse yet, he speculated, the smuggling cartels use the information to plan their drug and people smuggling activities.
“Good luck with keeping this information under wraps. Congress plainly wants this information to be in the public sphere,” Mr. Arthur said.
Thousands of troops were deployed to the border over the last year to help stem the surge of caravans of migrants. They are assisting Customs and Border Protection by manning surveillance cameras, flying air missions and providing logistics support — though they are not supposed to be engaged in actual enforcement.
The deployments are as controversial as the rest of Mr. Trump’s border policy, with critics saying it’s stretching the military and creating too much entanglement between the troops and domestic law enforcement.
House Democrats sought to push back in their defense bill, which cleared the chamber in July.
The bill would require the Pentagon to list every deployment, with a justification. It also would require cost estimates and information about what the military units might have been doing had they not been sent to the border.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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