Trump Announces Plan to Militarize the Border

This was always going to be the inevitable destination of Donald Trump's white supremacist nativism:
Donald Trump aims to "immediately" send members of the national guard to protect the United States' southern border with Mexico, his administration announced on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, said Trump has directed "the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to work with governors to deploy the National Guard" to the border.

Nielsen and the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, dodged questions about the sudden urgency, and whether the deployment of the national guard was tied to reports Trump had seen on Fox News about "a caravan" from Central America that was headed to the border.

Nielsen was unable to answer questions about the size of the deployment and the cost. She said the number of guardsmen called up "will be as many as needed to fill the gaps today." However, Nielsen told reporters "we do hope the deployment begins immediately."

On a conference call with reporters, a senior administration official told reporters that "we don't have a date" for the national guard to be deployed, saying: "This is the first step in a process."

She said that the function of the national guard on the border would "include everything from aerial surveillance and some of the support functions" for the border patrol.

This is quite obviously a terrible idea, for a dozen or so different reasons, chiefly because someone is going to get killed. Which is another inevitable consequence of the othering and dehumanization central to Trump's white supremacist nativist campaign.

When Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about the cost of this dangerous scheme, she gave one of her patented flip retorts: "I don't think you can put a cost on American life."

That's a bullshit answer, because it's a misdirection — transparency demands that American taxpayers know how much of our money is being spent under the auspices of "protecting" us — and it's a reprehensible answer, because embedded is such vile American exceptionalism that values the life of a human who happened to be born within U.S. borders more highly than the life of a human who wants desperately to live here.

As I have written before: Would that it took at least walking across the border to become an American citizen. We'd certainly have fewer citizens who used the gift of their unearned citizenry as a justification to behave like intolerant, isolationist scoundrels.

Donald Trump's dangerous and cruel pursuit of militarized bigotry would be detestable to me no matter what his personal circumstances, but there is an entire additional layer to my rage because he is the son and husband of immigrants.

There is precious little I have in common with Donald Trump, but one of the very few things we share is both being married to immigrants. I understand intellectually how a malicious bigot like Trump can exceptionalize his white European immigrant wife, but, emotionally, I will never be able to relate to someone who is part of an immigrant family and disgorges rank hostility and abject hatred for immigrants, undocumented or otherwise.

It makes me nauseated and outraged even to contemplate how unforgivable Trump's disposition is toward immigrants at our southern border. And Melania can eat shit for abetting this nightmare, too.

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