ECLECTIC RANT: Trump calls out the National Guard

By Ralph E. Stone
Saturday April 14, 2018 - 10:03:00 AM

On April 5, Trump President Donald Trump signed the presidential memorandum for sending National Guard troops on assignment to the southern border. to "stop illegal aliens from crossing the border.” He seemed to be referring to a caravan of about 1,000 migrants traveling north from Central America he claims are trying to take advantage of DACA, a program they would not even qualify for. 

The people of the "Stations of the Cross” caravan are mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and neighboring Central American countries. These caravans of migrants are an annual event, and go as far back as 2010. Their primary function is to draw attention to the kind of dangers migrants face. 

The 2018 caravan was organized by a humanitarian volunteer group called Pueblos Sin Fronteras. By traveling in such a large group they hope to avoid some of the dangers faced by travelers taking the often perilous route through Mexico to the southern border of the U.S. Many of the caravan travelers are fleeing violence. Of course, a small number did intend to reach the U.S. and seek asylum but the large majority will try to stay in Mexico,  

By calling out the National Guard, Trump is crying wolf. There is no evidence of an imminent influx of asylum seekers. In fact, border crossings have plummeted in the last decade and are at the lowest level since 1971. An April 2018 report by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said the number of unaccompanied migrant children detained along the Mexican border was down 24% from the previous year and the number of detained families dropped 32%. 

Why then has Trump called out the National Guard? Because right-wing columnist and author Ann Coulter accused President Trump of being a “shallow, lazy ignoramus" who is "not giving us what he promised." Coulter attacked him for his failure to build a wall or to gain funding for a wall. Trump is afraid Coulter reflects what his base thinks and by calling out the National Guard, he hopes to strengthen his anti-immigrant stance to appease Coulter and his base. 

Or as Astrid Dominguez, director of the ACLU Border Rights Center put it, "President Trump is trying to create a crisis where there is none. This is another impulsive reaction to not getting his way on his border wall, . .”