Veterans For Peace strongly condemns the recent announcement that up to 15,000 active duty military personnel may be sent to the U.S. southern border. These troops will join the additional National Guard units that were sent last year, increasing the militarization of our borders at an alarming rate. Our immigration laws and enforcement tactics have long been at a crisis point and we are now witnessing an even more draconian surge in the use of force to prop up failed policies.
Veterans For Peace calls on all our members and all veterans who see the inhumanity and injustice of the current policies to call their Congressional Representative and Senators to demand the military be pulled back from the border and that the members of the approaching caravan be treated with dignity and processed according to international humanitarian standards as refugees. We call on all service members participating in the border deployment to follow the long American tradition of listening to their conscience and remember that they have no obligation to follow illegal orders. (For questions on military rights, contact the GI Rights Hotline or Courage to Resist)
The U.S. government, instead of welcoming the approaching refugees, the majority of whom will seek asylum under completely legal processes, is treating individuals and families fleeing to the U.S. as if they are "terrorists" (even when "counterterrorism" officials within the administration are stating that no such people exist within the caravan). The majority of these refugees are fleeing from violence in Honduras and a political situation United States' actions have made worse.
The U.S. government's claim that active duty troops are providing only innocuous support services are misleading. This is the introduction of U.S. military force as a deterrent to those who are pursuing their rights as asylum seekers fleeing from extreme poverty and violence in their homelands, much of it due to U.S policies. The U.S. is required under international humanitarian standards to welcome those seeking refuge.
Veterans For Peace recognizes that these orders did not happen in a vacuum, but represent a long history over several administrations of racist and violent policies that has perpetuated U.S. wars across the world and horrific domestic policies that created ICE, massive immigration detention centers and a wall that already splits towns and separates friends and families. However, the Trump administration has escalated, at an alarming pace, the implementation of new dangerous measures. President Trump is moving to fulfill on the promises of his campaign that caused an upsurge of hateful sentiment in our nation and spurred a rise in fear and anger.
Additionally, Veterans For Peace is not only concerned about the safety of individuals and families fleeing violence and the increased militarization of the border but we are extremely concerned about the continued disregard of federal law. Federal law, namely the Posse Comitatus Act, prohibits the deployment of active duty troops on domestic soil and the U.S. Government continues to ignore laws in favor of increasing militarization of U.S. domestic policy.
As military veterans from WWII to the current era of conflicts, who have trained for, and in many cases, fought in U.S. wars, we know that current U.S. policies have not only failed to bring peace but are morally bankrupt and we do not believe that more military at the border is rooted in justice or compassion.
It is more important than ever that veterans stand up, speak out and organize to disrupt the dangerous escalation of racist and unjust policies, both at home and abroad. We, as veterans, know that peace is possible, but only if resources are directed towards caring for one another, not perpetuating militarization across the globe.