Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace
November 6, 2018
Low Intensity Warfare
I. Low Intensity Warfare Around the World
Dowty, Book Closed Borders Around the World
Lyons, Homeland Security from Global Insurgencies to Border Control
II.   US Militarization and Low Intensity Warfare on the US/Mexican Border
Dunn, Book The Militarization of US/Mexican Border 1978-1992, rev by Palafox
Miller and Schivone, Israeli Arms to US/Mexican Border
III. Causes of Latin American Refugees
Chomsky, Central American Refugees Fleeing Violence
Kazdin, Central American Violence from US
Faux, Crisis from US
3 Reports from NADG Staff, 1 from AP (good analysis), 1 from CNN
Judges v. New Quotas
Washington Post v. Troops: Send Judges (in NADG)
Veterans for Peace, No Troops!
Selsky, Help for Refugees in Oregon
Seattle Times v. Trump’s Drastic Cap
Grisham, Don’t Fear Refugees
Susie Hoeller, Book Impasse: Border Walls or Welcome the Stranger. 

Low-intensity Warfare, Google Search 4-4-18
Low intensity warfare: counterinsurgency, … - ‎Klare - Cited by 129
Notes on Low-Intensity Warfare - ‎Luttwak - Cited by 77

Jump to Guerrilla warfare: the main challenge to low-intensity warfare - low-intensity conflict (LIC) is a military conflict, usually localised, between two or more state or non-state groups which is below the intensity of conventional war. It involves the state's use of military forces applied selectively and with restraint to enforce compliance with its policies or objectives.
I.  US Low Intensity Warfare around the World Past to Present



A thoroughgoing documentation of worldwide governmental policies and practices that restrict a once widely accepted right to leave home and hearth for other lands. This is set within the historical context of how states have in the past variously dealt with those who wanted to leave and those whom some governments wanted to get rid of for religious, racial or other reasons. Dowty (political science/Notre Dame) compendiously demonstrates his contention that ""never before have states so effectively controlled the right of their citizens to leave or to stay."" citing the policies of nations as diverse as Syria, Nicaragua, Mozambique and numerous Soviet bloc members. In all. 26 governments admitted to actively discouraging emigration in a recent United Nations survey.   Dowty calculates that 36 other countries restrict international travel either ""occasionally, or ""partially"" in recent years. Vietnam also has forced out an uncalculated number of overseas Chinese, while numerous refugees have had to flee Haiti, Ethiopia and Afghanistan because of war and/or an intolerable political/ economic situation. Iran strenuously persecutes members of the Baha'i religion while also denying them the right to emigrate. Many of Dowty's observations are illuminating.  Cuba allowed virtually its entire middle class to leave, while Yugoslavia and (to some extent) Hungary are fairly liberal on emigration. He suggests that bans on emigration by the Soviet Union and allied states are rooted more in tsarist absolutism than in communist doctrine. He supplies evidence which places blame for the ""brain drain"" from the Third World on a lack of local opportunities for professionals. He reveals that the US has accepted twice as many legal immigrants and refugees in recent years as the rest of the world combined (illegal immigrants may total 4 to 6 million). There is evidence that new immigrants ultimately pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, while a significant number set up new businesses that provide jobs for native-born Americans. Illegal immigrants, however, tend to squeeze many urban inner-city youths out of the labor force. In sum: a valuable research tool for professionals and scholars in the field of transnational movements of people. A plus: this study is so lucidly written and well organized that it should appeal to everyone interested in learning more about the history and current situation of mass population movements and how governments have variously caused or thwarted them.






“U.S. military planners apparently coined the term “low-intensity conflict” in the early 1980s, although its roots are much older. LIC has encompassed many different types of operations, including counterinsurgency (such as El Salvador in the 1980s), anticommunist insurgencies (the Nicaraguan Contras in the same period), punitive strikes (the 1986 bombing of Libya), and so-called peacekeeping operations (Somalia in 1992-1993 or Bosnia since 1995).3
Low-intensity conflict seeks to minimize U.S. troop deployment and military casualties and focuses on controlling targeted civilian populations rather than territory. It generally involves the coordination or integration of police, military, and paramilitary forces, as police become militarized and the military takes on law-enforcement and other unconventional roles. In addition, LIC often combines open force with propaganda campaigns and seemingly benign projects such as community development and civic reform efforts, as a way to win civilian support. In this sense of a multipronged military, political, economic, and psychological offensive, one military officer described low-intensity conflict as “total war at the grass-roots level.”4
Iraq has been a constant, major target of U.S. low-intensity warfare since 1991. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Republican and Democratic administrations alike used a combination of economic sanctions and periodic air strikes to “contain” the Iraqi government—at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives.5 In this and almost all other cases, the United States’ LIC operations have overwhelmingly targeted people of color.


Ever since the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts, the U.S. government has persecuted immigrants and foreigners repeatedly. For the past quarter century, undocumented immigrants (and those suspected of being undocumented immigrants) have faced an increasingly powerful repressive federal apparatus, especially in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Growing anti-immigrant racism, an aggressive foreign policy focus on Central America, the War on Drugs, and the end of the Cold War all helped define border enforcement as a national security issue. By 1998, the INS had more armed agents than any other federal law enforcement agency. Since 1994, largely as a result of harsh border control policies, 2,000 migrants have died trying to enter the United States from Mexico.6

As sociologist Timothy J. Dunn argues, U.S. border enforcement policy since 1978 represents an application of low-intensity conflict doctrine within the United States.7 Dunn examines a number of developments in border control policy since 1978 that, in combination, embody LIC principles:
INS funding grew steadily, with a disproportionate share of increases awarded to the Enforcement Division (which includes the Border Patrol) at the expense of services.
The Border Patrol more than tripled in size and became increasingly militarized in its weaponry and equipment and in its creation of elite “special forces” units. The Border Patrol’s power to conduct searches and make arrests expanded dramatically. The INS became increasingly geared toward long-term, punitive detention of suspects.
The INS engaged in a variety of efforts to coordinate and integrate forces with other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The INS placed intelligence operatives in Mexico and Guatemala and shared intelligence with the CIA, the State Department, and the Pentagon.
The military became increasingly involved in domestic police work. Although barred from making arrests, searches, and seizures, the military increasingly provided civilian agencies with equipment, training, and intelligence, and took on a leading role monitoring the inflow of illegal drugs into the United States.
The INS planned and carried out large-scale roundups of civilians, such as the 1989-1990 arrest and deportation of thousands of Central American refugees in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. In 1992, the INS rounded up and deported at least 700 undocumented immigrants during the Los Angeles upheaval that followed the acquittal of Rodney King’s police attackers.
To some extent, these changes have been fueled by right-wing hate campaigns against “illegal aliens.” But both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, have supported the militarization of border enforcement….     Continued: https://www.politicalresearch.org/2003/04/01/homeland-security-low-intensity-conflict-targets-non-citizens/

II.   US Low Intensity Warfare on the US/Mexican Border

“Timothy Dunn, The Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1978/1992: Low-Intensity Conflict Doctrine Comes Home.

Jose Palafox.  Opening Up Borderland Studies: A Review of U.S.-Mexico Border Militarization Discourse.”   https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/palafox.html

“Timothy Dunn, author of The Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border, 19781992: Low-Intensity Conflict Doctrine Comes Home, is the premiere theorist of border militarization. As the subtitle explains, Dunn views the border buildup as an example of the repatriation of low-intensity conflict theory and practice to the U.S. Originally developed as a response to guerrilla insurgency in the Third World by the Kennedy administration, low-intensity conflict (LIC) reached its full form during the Reagan administration as a counterinsurgency doctrine in Central America in the early 1980s. Dunn outlines LIC by citing a 1986 U.S. Army Training Report:
Low-intensity conflict is a limited political-military struggle to achieve political, social, economic, or psychological objectives. It is often protracted and ranges from diplomatic, economic, and psycho-social pressures through terrorism and insurgency. Low-intensity conflict is generally confined to a geographic area and is often characterized by constraints on the weaponry, tactics, and level of violence (Dunn, 1996: 20).
Dunn reminds us that although LIC doctrine has been primarily engineered for "third-world settings, it is not devoid of domestic implications for the United States." He argues that many key aspects of LIC have coincided with numerous facets of the militarization on the U.S.-Mexico border (Ibid.: 31). In fact, a report prepared for the Border Patrol's border enforcement efforts was drafted by "planning experts from the Department of Defense Center for Low Intensity Conflict (CLIC) and chief patrol agents from all regions and selected Headquarters staff" (U.S. Border Patrol, 1994: 1, fn. 1).
Given that government officials have portrayed unauthorized migration and illegal drug trafficking from Mexico to the U.S. as a "national security" issue, Dunn argues:
LIC doctrine is the most applicable framework in this regard, given its call for a sophisticated combination of police and military activities to effect social control over targeted civilian populations.... [T]he prospect of some degree of LIC-style militarization in the U.S.-Mexico border region is also worthy of consideration due to its ominous implications for the status of human rights in the borderlands (Dunn, 1996:31).
Although the U.S.-Mexico border region has had a long history of militarism and violence, 2 only in the last few decades has increasing integration of U.S. military armed personnel with civilian law enforcement been documented (see Palafox, 1996: 14-19).

Gaza in Arizona 
How Israeli High-Tech Firms Will Up-Armor the U.S.-Mexican Border By 
Todd Miller and Gabriel M. Schivone.
It was October 2012. Roei Elkabetz, a brigadier general for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was explaining his country’s border policing strategies. In his PowerPoint presentation, a photo of the enclosure wall that isolates the Gaza Strip from Israel clicked onscreen. “We have learned lots from Gaza,” he told the audience. “It’s a great laboratory.”
Elkabetz was speaking at a border technology conference and fair surrounded by a dazzling display of technology -- the components of his boundary-building lab. There were surveillance balloons with high-powered cameras floating over a desert-camouflaged armored vehicle made by Lockheed Martin. There were seismic sensor systems used to detect the movement of people and other wonders of the modern border-policing world. Around Elkabetz, you could see vivid examples of where the future of such policing was heading, as imagined not by a dystopian science fiction writer but by some of the top corporate techno-innovators on the planet.
Swimming in a sea of border security, the brigadier general was, however, not surrounded by the Mediterranean but by a parched West Texas landscape. He was in El Paso, a 10-minute walk from the wall that separates the United States from Mexico.
Just a few more minutes on foot and Elkabetz could have watched green-striped U.S. Border Patrol vehicles inching along the trickling Rio Grande in front of Ciudad Juarez, one of Mexico’s largest cities filled with U.S. factories and the dead of that country’s drug wars. The Border Patrol agents whom the general might have spotted were then being up-armored with a lethal combination of surveillance technologies, military hardware, assault rifles, helicopters, and drones. This once-peaceful place was being transformed into what Timothy Dunn, in his book The Militarization of the U.S. Mexico Border, terms a state of “low-intensity warfare.”
The Border Surge
On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions on immigration reform. Addressing the American people, he referred to bipartisan immigration legislation passed by the Senate in June 2013 that would, among other things, further up-armor the same landscape in what’s been termed -- in language adopted from recent U.S. war zones -- a “border surge.” The president bemoaned the fact that the bill had been stalled in the House of Representatives, hailing it as a “compromise” that “reflected common sense.” It would, he pointed out, “have doubled the number of Border Patrol agents, while giving undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship.”
In the wake of his announcement, including executive actions that would protect five to six million of those immigrants from future deportation, the national debate was quickly framed as a conflict between Republicans and Democrats. Missed in this partisan war of words was one thing: the initial executive action that Obama announced involved a further militarization of the border supported by both parties.
“First,” the president said, “we’ll build on our progress at the border with additional resources for our law enforcement personnel so that they can stem the flow of illegal crossings and speed the return of those who do cross over.” Without further elaboration, he then moved on to other matters.
If, however, the United States follows the “common sense” of the border-surge bill, the result could add more than $40 billion dollars worth of agents, advanced technologies, walls, and other barriers to an already unparalleled border enforcement apparatus. And a crucial signal would be sent to the private sector that, as the trade magazine Homeland Security Today puts it, another “treasure trove” of profit is on the way for a border control market already, according to the latest forecasts, in an “unprecedented boom period.”
Like the Gaza Strip for the Israelis, the U.S. borderlands, dubbed a “constitution-free zone” by the ACLU, are becoming a vast open-air laboratory for tech companies. There, almost any form of surveillance and “security” can be developed, tested, and showcased, as if in a militarized shopping mall, for other nations across the planet to consider. In this fashion, border security is becoming a global industry and few corporate complexes can be more pleased by this than the one that has developed in Elkabetz’s Israel…

 III. Causes of Latin American Refugees

Noam Chomsky: Members of Migrant Caravan Are Fleeing from Misery & Horrors Created by the U.S.  NOVEMBER 02, 2018
Noam Chomsky: “The most extreme source of migrants right now is Honduras. Why Honduras? Well, it was always bitterly oppressed. But in 2009, Honduras had a mildly reformist president, Mel Zelaya. The Honduran powerful, rich elite couldn’t tolerate that. A military coup took place, expelled him from the country. It was harshly condemned all through the hemisphere, with one notable exception: the United States. The Obama administration refused to call it a military coup, because if they had, they would have been compelled by law to withdraw military funding from the military regime, which was imposing a regime of brutal terror. Honduras became the murder capital of the world. A fraudulent election took place under the military junta—again, harshly condemned all over the hemisphere, most of the world, but not by the United States. The Obama administration praised Honduras for carrying out an election, moving towards democracy and so on. Now people are fleeing from the misery and horrors for which we are responsible.
And you have this incredible charade taking place, which the world is looking at with utter astonishment: Poor, miserable people, families, mothers, children, fleeing from terror and repression, for which we are responsible, and in reaction, they’re sending thousands of troops to the border. The troops being sent to the border outnumber the children who are fleeing. And with a remarkable PR campaign, they’re frightening much of the country into believing that we’re just on the verge of an invasion by, you know, Middle Eastern terrorists funded by George Soros, so on and so forth….    Continued: https://www.democracynow.org/2018/11/2/noam_chomsky_members_of_migrant_caravan


The Violence Central American Migrants Are Fleeing Was Stoked by the US  By Cole Kazdin.  VICE, Jun 27 2018.

We're still dealing with the aftermath of atrocities committed by US allies in Central America during the Cold War.  https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qvnyzq/central-america-atrocities-caused-immigration-crisis     As courts, law enforcement, and the Trump administration continue to sort out what to do with the steady stream of migrants either crossing the southern border illegally or seeking asylum, the roots of the current misery are often forgotten. The desperate border-crossers often come from Central America’s “Northern Triangle”—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—and are fleeing high homicide rates and violence in those countries. But this instability did not arise in a vacuum. Many historians and policy experts are quick to point out that much of the troubles in Central America were created or at least helped by the US’s interference in those countries going back decades. In other words, the foreign policy of the past has profoundly shaped the present immigration crisis.

“Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced in the 1980s,” said Elizabeth Oglesby, an associate professor of Latin American studies at the University of Arizona. “People were fleeing violence and massacres and political persecution that the United States was either funding directly or at the very minimum, covering up and excusing.” Violence today in those countries, she said, is a directly legacy of US involvement.
Oglesby spoke to me from Guatemala, which even today is still feeling the cumulative effects of US actions from over 50 years ago. In the 1950s, Guatemala attempted to end exploitative labor practices and give land to Mayan Indians in the highlands. The move, according to now-unclassified CIA documents, threatened US interests like the United Fruit Company, which controlled a good portion of land in Guatemala. But instead of citing economic factors, many in the US cried “communism,” saying the labor reforms were a threat to democracy. Wisconsin Senator Alexander Wiley, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee at the time, said he believed that a "Communist octopus" had used its tentacles to control events in Guatemala. In 1954, the CIA helped organize a military coup to overthrow Guatemala’s democratically elected government, and continued to train the Guatemalan military well into the 70s.
“The war in Guatemala was really a genocide,” Oglesby said, adding that an estimated 200,000 were killed in the subsequent 36-year-long civil war, which stretched from 1960 to 1996. “The history is important because it went so far beyond anti-communism—the purpose was to destroy people’s vision of the future. It had a terrible impact on the country, hundreds of thousands of people were displaced.”
In Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras, there are similar stories. When, in the late 70s, the Nicaraguan resistance group called the Sandinistas overthrew the country’s dictatorship that had been in power for over 40 years, the US opposed the revolution, backed the dictatorship, and later supported the rebel group known as the Contras. In El Salvador, the US gave billions to the government to fight the socialist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), and used Honduras as a base to hold military exercises.
“Under the umbrella of the Cold War, the US amplified its presence in the region, especially El Salvador, in order to defeat the guerrillas of the FMLN,” said Xochitl Sanchez of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) in Los Angeles. “The United States is complicit in creating the rampant and bloody gang violence, dire poverty, displacement and migration from El Salvador.” CARECEN was founded in 1983, as Central Americans were fleeing en masse to the US. “The need was astonishing,” said Sanchez.
Adding to the instability from the various civil wars the US was involved in throughout the region, Richard Nixon’s so-called “war on drugs,” Continued: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qvnyzq/central-america-atrocities-caused-immigration-crisis
And see Peter Tinti.  Inside the Corruption and Repression Forcing Hondurans to Flee to the US.”   Migrants are leaving not only because they fear gang violence, but because they are terrified of the brutal government.  VICE, Oct 25 2018

Jeff Faux.  How US Foreign Policy Helped Create the Immigration Crisis.   The Nation.   OCTOBER 18, 2017     Neoliberal strictures, support for oligarchs, and the War on Drugs have impoverished millions and destabilized Latin America. 

As his price for not deporting roughly 800,000 “Dreamers” who came to this country as children, Donald Trump demands an escalated war against immigrants, topped by his nightmarish 2,000-mile wall along the Mexican border. Democrats have said no. Whether or not some sort of deal is eventually struck, the country will remain deeply divided over undocumented immigrants from the south.

Unfortunately, though, that debate is entirely focused on domestic policy—how to treat the undocumented after they have arrived. Democrats, thinking Latinos will vote for them, want the newcomers to stay. Republicans, fearing Democrats are right, want them sent back. Employers want their cheap labor. Workers fear their wage competition. The clash of these agendas further inflames simmering social tensions over racism, police tactics, and cultural identity, which in turn feed Trump’s reactionary base.
Lost in these US-centric arguments is the role of our foreign policy in creating the conditions that push people in Central America and Mexico to make the long, arduous, and frequently fatal trek north.

In the 1980s, Washington and its neoliberal collaborators began imposing policies that favored multinational corporations and hurt the working poor.
For at least 150 years, the United States has intervened with arms, political pressure, and foreign aid in order to protect the business and military elites of these countries who have prospered by impoverishing their people.
Still, illegal immigration from the region remained modest until the 1980s, when the US government and its neoliberal collaborators at the IMF and World Bank began imposing policies on the region that favored large multinational corporations, undercutting the small farms and businesses that had supported the working poor.
Meanwhile, many of the oligarchs became partners in the growing narco-trafficking business. Protected by government officials, criminal gangs have spread throughout the region, adding threats of kidnapping, extortion, rape, and murder to the daily life of people struggling to make a living. A young Guatemalan recently told me: “Unless you are connected to one of the families that run this country, there is no future here. Either you work for the narcos or go north.”
The War on Drugs has given weapons and political protection to oligarchs.
The US response has been a War on Drugs that provides these same oligarchs with political protection and more weapons. In 2009, for example, the Obama administration ensured the success of a coup by the Honduran military against an elected president whose modest social programs of food and education for the poor had enraged the ruling class.
Since then, US aid to the Honduran oligarchs has more than doubled. Yet two-thirds of Hondurans live in poverty. Large numbers inhabit shacks without toilets, and can’t afford to buy shoes for their children. And the murder rate among Latin American countries is second only to that of El Salvador, which has received even more US aid. Five years after the Honduran coup, the number of children illegally crossing into the United States increased by 1,272 percent.
The ruling class in Mexico, despite that country’s greater size and nationalist culture, has a similar relationship with us—to similar effect. The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, sold to Congress as a way to keep Mexicans home, threw millions of peasants and small businesses out of work. Illegal immigration from Mexico doubled.   Continued:    https://www.thenation.com/article/how-us-foreign-policy-helped-create-the-immigration-crisis/

NADG Staff.    “Arrests of Migrant Families Surge.”  NADG (Oct. 18, 2018).  Arrests of family members from Central America in September were 16,658, “the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July.”  The parents and children sought asylum, “citing a fear of return.”
Astrid Galvan.  (AP).  “Role of Troops at Border to Mirror National Guard.”  NADG (Nov. 1, 2018).
Trump is sending over 5000 active-duty troops to reinforce some 2000 National Guards deployed over past 6 months.  More are to follow. The reporter reminded readers of the restrictions on combat troops regarding domestic law enforcement.  A former Border Protection commissioner, R. Gil Kerlikowske, said the troops could not stop asylum seekers at border crossings.  That was the job of Border Patrol agents.  “I see it as a political stunt and waste of military resources and waste of tax dollars.”  A 19th century law, the Posse Comitatus Act, prohibits military troops from civilian law enforcement.   The reporter asked AF Gen. O-Shaughnessy, head of U.S. Northern command, about armed troops given the law.   He replied that the troops have been given “guidance on the use of force” and there will be further “unit and individual training.”  The troops will be there to support the Guards, but “are authorized to use force in self-defense.”  [A lot of work went into this short but critical, questioning report.]

D-G Staff.  “Trump Plans Migrants Order. President: U.S. Will Stop Influx at Border.”  NADG (Nov. 2, 2018) 1A.
Trump preparing for “large-scale detention of migrants.”  [His administration systematically misuses the word migrant when the correct label for most of these desperate, fleeing people is refugee.

“Trump said military should shoot rock-throwing migrants. Officials disagree.”  By Bob Ortega, CNN Investigates. 

Updated 8:28 PM ET, Fri November 2, 2018

 (CNN)Rock-throwing by migrants has not been fatal to border agents, and it is against Border Patrol and military policy to shoot rock throwers in most circumstances, officials said Friday, in response to a suggestion by President Donald Trump to treat them as if they carried firearms.
Trump said Thursday that US troops -- being deployed along the Mexican border in advance of midterm elections next week -- should treat rocks thrown by migrants as firearms attacks.
"Consider it a rifle," he said. "When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military police, consider it a rifle."
Friday, Trump tried to walk back those comments, telling reporters that if agents or soldiers "are going to be hit in the face with rocks, we're going to arrest those people. That doesn't mean shoot them."…Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/02/us/officials-dismiss-shooting-rock-throwing-migrants-trump-invs/index.html

“Fencing in the Border.”  NADG (Nov. 3, 2018).  1A.  Photo with caption describing US soldier placing razor wire at a Texas bridge.   “…former military leaders are questioning the decision to militarize the border ahead of the arrival of migrant caravans.”  Article follows photo inside.


Immigration Judges Say New Quotas Undermine Independence.

September 21, 2018.  Associated Press  (Also ADG 9-22-18)
The nation's immigration court judges are anxious and stressed by a quota system implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that pushes them to close 700 cases per year as a way to get rid of an immense backlog, the head of the judges' union said Friday.
It means judges would have an average of about 2½ hours to complete cases — an impossible ask for complicated asylum matters that can include hundreds of pages of documents and hours of testimony, Judge Ashley Tabaddor said.
"This is an unprecedented act, which compromises the integrity of the court and undermines the decisional independence of immigration judges,'' she said in a speech at the National Press Club, in her capacity as head of the union. Tabaddor said the backlog of 750,000 cases was created in part by government bureaucracy and a neglected immigration court system.
"Now, the same backlog is being used as a political tool to advance the current law enforcement policies,'' she said…

“Don’t send troops to the border. Send judges.”   By Editorial Board, Washington Post,  November 2, 2018.  (Also ADG 11-5-18).

PRESIDENT TRUMP has based his midterm election campaign on the specter of an “invasion” by immigrants marching from Central America to the southern border. His demagoguery is disgusting and irresponsible. But there is a real problem of migrants — one that his administration is failing to address.
Many people are crossing the border with their children and applying for asylum, overwhelming existing mechanisms for dealing with asylum seekers. They are feeding what the president calls a “catch-and-release” revolving door for migrants freed as they await hearings to adjudicate their cases, and contributing to a backlog of some 750,000 cases in immigration courts.
A rational response would be to add substantially to the approximately 350 immigration judges, who cannot handle the tens of thousands of asylum claims flooding the immigration courts annually. The administration this year hired a few dozen new judges, a fraction of what is required. As the caseload has more than quadrupled since 2006, the number of judges has not even doubled, according to congressional testimony in April by Judge A. Ashley Tabaddor, president of the National Association of Immigration Judges.
Despite that, Mr. Trump has sneered at the idea of hiring more, even after aides pressed him to do so. “Who are these people?” he raged, before suggesting darkly that adding many new judges would somehow corrupt the system. “Now can you imagine the graft that must take place?” he said.
Granted, the hiring could be challenging, in vetting and cost. But any major challenge involves scaling up resources and personnel, and it’s hard to see why that’s beyond the government’s capabilities.
On the other hand, maybe Mr. Trump prefers having an issue to a solution. He has made it clear he believes the immigration question propelled him into the White House. Now, by ramping up his inflammatory rhetoric, and by advancing over-the-top measures such as sendingthousands of troops to the border to fulfill a mission for which they are not trained — Congress has barred troops from law enforcement duties — it seems apparent Mr. Trump has opted for crisis instead of constructive improvements to what he rightly calls a broken system. Instead of deploying thousands of troops, why not hire hundreds of judges?

VETERANS FOR PEACE, E-NEWS, Friday, November 1st,  2018.
“Veterans For Peace: No Troops to the Border!”
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.
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.

“In a prison and a temple, Oregonians help detained migrants” bOct 22, 2018.  (Also ADG 10-23-18).     http://www.phillytrib.com/in-a-prison-and-a-temple-oregonians-help-detained-migrants/article_10b74c11-3e5c-5821-8b7e-f555e8dff4e2.html

 SALEM, Ore. (AP) — With the sun bearing down, Norm and Kathy Daviess stood in the shade of a prison wall topped with coiled razor wire, waiting for three immigrants to come out.
It's become an oddly familiar routine for the Air Force veteran and his wife, part of an ad hoc group of volunteers that formed in recent months after the Trump administration transferred 124 immigrants to the federal prison in rural Oregon, a first for the facility.
The detainees were among approximately 1,600 immigrants apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border and then transferred to federal prisons in five states after President Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy left the usual facilities short of space.
Almost half of those sent to the prison outside Sheridan, an economically struggling town 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Portland, on May 31 are from India, many of them Sikhs — part of an influx of Indian nationals entering the U.S. in recent years. They also came from Nepal, Guatemala, Mexico and a dozen other countries.
"Zero tolerance" made Sheridan an unusual way station for migrants from around the world. Now, those who pass an initial screening and post bond are being released. And Norm and Kathy Daviess, along with more than 100 other volunteers — retirees, recent college graduates, lawyers, clergy — have lined up to help.

“Lift Trump administration’s cruel, un-American refugee cap.”

September 26, 2018.  The Seattle Times editorial board  (also ADG 9-28-18).
Among the tragic decisions made by President Donald Trump, slashing the number of refugees allowed into the country may be the most cruel, un-American and harmful to the nation’s security and economic strength.
Congress must push back on Trump’s odious plan to admit only a maximum of 30,000 refugees in fiscal 2019 amid a global surge in displacement. The cap was 110,000 when Trump took office, and he slashed it to 45,000 last year.

Nothing to fear

“Immigrants are no threat to a hopeful America” by Lowell Grisham.   NADG (August 7, 2018 at 1 a.m.).

We may be going through one of those moments that will cause us lasting shame. Years from now we will look back and wonder, "What were they thinking?"
Separating children from their families. Locking up people who are neither threatening nor dangerous. Imprisoning people who are fleeing life-threatening violence, looking for a safe place to work and raise their families.
I visited one of these immigration prisons in Texas. It is a massive, concrete fortress with sparse, narrow slats for "windows." Several hundred women are being held there as they await hearings on their immigration petitions. Many are fleeing unspeakable violence. Some are mothers whose children have been taken from them by our government. The facility is run by a private firm and has been the subject of sexual abuse lawsuits. Some women call it "la perrera," the dog pound. "They   whereabouts of her two children for 21 days..

IMPASSE: Border Walls or "Welcome the Stranger" by  Susie L. Hoeller .  2008.   https://www.amazon.com/IMPASSE-Border-Walls-Welcome-Stranger/dp/1601455445

IMPASSE is a must read for policymakers and citizens who wish to repair our immigration system. The author proposes innovative solutions to break through the policy impasse in Congress.

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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)