Below is an open email I’ve written to Rep. Joaquin Castro [TX-20] in response to his open email about Gov. Perry proposing to send National Guard troops to the Texas border with Mexico. His is letter is below my response.
I agree that we should not be putting National Guard troops on the border with Mexico, but partly for different reasons.
Perhaps first and foremost, National Guard troops are not military personnel who sometimes live as civilians. They are civilians who sometimes live as military personnel. As such, calling them up for what is really police work is a frivolous, politically-inspired upheaval of their lives. It also constitutes an abuse of these warriors who have volunteered to disrupt their lives and the lives of their families, and risk their lives for their country, when the safety and security of the citizens of the United States are at stake. This humanitarian refugee emergency on our border does not rise to that standard.
Second, if Governor Rick Perry was serious about ‘policing’ the border and wasn’t just engaging in political grandstanding, he could deploy Texas State Troopers; people who are trained in dealing with civilians as policemen, not as soldiers. Historically, deployment of trained soldiers against civilians rarely ends well. The situation on our border at this time does not require a military response against armed invaders. It requires a police and social services response by folks trained to handle unarmed, disoriented civilians who are essentially guilty of nothing more than criminal trespass.
Third, our border with Mexico is the second longest demilitarized border in the world. (Our border with Canada is the longest.) This is a reality that SHOULD NOT be trifled with for petty personal political gain. Militarizing our border with Mexico is madness. If anything proves that Ricky Perry is unfit to be governor, let alone president, it’s this failure to understand a basic reality of geopolitics: that the ability of this nation to live within demilitarized borders is a fundamental reason for the prosperity and security of the United States. (As an aside, the same is true of anyone who agrees with his proposed action.)
I hope that the Democratic Party, the State of Texas and the United States government will see the current illegal immigration crisis with these three principles in mind.
Producer and Host, Thinkwing Radio with Mike Honig, KPFT 90.1FM (Houston)
From: Joaquin Castro [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Joaquin Castro
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 3:53 PM
Subject: Militarizing the border
It is unimaginable to think that children are willing to make the dangerous journey alone to the United States to escape violence in their home countries. Even worse – Governor Rick Perry now wants to send 1,000 armed soldiers to confront these kids who are not even attempting to evade capture.
These children need the Red Cross, not the National Guard. Our state can provide a more helpful response than to send armed soldiers to greet children seeking refuge from violence!
Will you help us tell the Texas GOP that these children need solutions and not political posturing? This is a humanitarian operation, not a military one. I think it is clear – militarizing the border is not the answer.
Sign your name today to tell the Texas GOP that we should be sending the Red Cross to the border, not soldiers. >>>
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