Washington, D.C. April 26, 2019 —In response to reports that the Pentagon is preparing to expand the military’s role at the southern border so that personnel can interact with migrants, Veterans for American Ideals’ Bishop Garrison issued the following statement:
Using the military to address the situation at the southern border is both shortsighted and detrimental to our security. The president should be giving the asylum system the support it needs so it can aid those fleeing violence, not undermining readiness and damaging the relationship between the military and civilian authorities.
The men and women of our military serve our nation to protect it from threats, foreign or domestic. But the families seeking asylum at our border do not threaten our national security. If there is any threat, it’s the Trump Administration’s actions to undermine our asylum system, nothing more.
Additionally, the plan to have military lawyers somehow assist with deportation hearings is absurd. U.S. asylum and immigration laws are exceedingly complex and deportation hearings have life and death consequences for asylum seekers and their families.
Ironically, military attorneys will be aiding in deportation hearings at the border at a time when noncitizen veterans are being summarily deported without representation. If anything showcases that this administration has misplaced priorities, this is it.