Credo Action

Tell Secretary of Defense James Mattis: No lethal force at the border

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The petition to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis reads:

"Refuse to follow the unconstitutional memo from the White House encouraging lethal force and cancel the deployment of troops heading to the United States-Mexico border."

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    Tell Secretary of Defense James Mattis: No lethal force at the border

    Disgraceful: The U.S. border patrol just tear gassed mothers with children and toddlers in diapers seeking asylum on our southern border.1

    Every day, Donald Trump's white supremacist war on immigrants grows worse. Just last week, the White House issued a memo authorizing the troops at the border to use lethal force against asylum seekers.2 The tear-gassing of families shows that Trump's plan to have the military treat immigrants like enemy combatants in a war zone is no idle threat.

    This is America under Trump, and it is shameful. Though Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has the authority to order troops to use lethal force, he has not yet done so. In fact, Trump's order for lethal force may be unconstitutional.3 It is the responsibility of people of conscience to speak out and demand that Mattis put a check on Trump before the situation gets even worse.

    Tell Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis: No lethal force at the border

    The reports of Customs & Border Patrol's actions are truly shocking:4

    Children screamed and coughed amid the gas, The Associated Press reported. The wind carried the aerosol chemicals toward people hundreds of feet away who were not attempting to enter the U.S., the wire service noted. One woman collapsed unconscious amid the chaos, and two babies sobbed with tears running down their faces from the gas, Reuters reported.

    CREDO members will continue to press to end the racist, anti-immigrant culture that gives birth to such horrors. That includes cracking down on ICE and the the Customs & Border Patrol's complicity in terror. The heads of the ICE and CBP unions were in the room with Trump last week when he gave the order for lethal force.5

    Right now, we need an urgent call to stand down before tear gas turns into live bullets.

    Tell Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis: No lethal force at the border

    Let’s be clear: The United States is not under attack. The families walking from Central America are survivors of deadly state and domestic violence, climate devastation and poverty.6 They are coming to exercise their right under U.S. law to petition for asylum.

    But instead of fulfilling his legal obligation to evaluate their asylum claims,7 Trump plans to terrorize migrants with military force. His dangerous ploy is part of a white supremacist agenda that includes banning Muslims, restricting legal immigration, separating children from their families and denying citizenship to children of immigrants born in the United States.8

    Further militarizing the border will do nothing to keep our country safe. But it will terrorize and harm vulnerable migrant families and add fuel to the fires of racism and xenophobia.

    Tell Secretary of Defense James Mattis: No lethal force at the border

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Mary Papenfuss, "Activists, Politicians React With Horror At Border Scenes Of Tear-Gassed Children," HuffPost, Nov. 25, 2018.
    2. Eliana Johnson, "Fiery West Wing meeting led to more power for military at U.S.-Mexico border," Politico, Nov. 22, 2018.
    3. Ibid.
    4. Papenfuss, "Activists, Politicians React With Horror At Border Scenes Of Tear-Gassed Children."
    5. Johnson, "Fiery West Wing meeting led to more power for military at U.S.-Mexico border."
    6. Washington Office on Latin America, "9 Questions (and Answers) About the Central American Migrant Caravan," Oct. 22, 2018.
    7. Maya Rhodan, "President Trump Threatened to Turn Back Caravan Migrants If They Don't Claim Asylum in Mexico. That's Not Legal," TIME, Oct. 23, 2018.
    8. William Cummings and David Jackson, "President Trump says he plans to end birthright citizenship with an executive order," USA Today, Oct. 30, 2018.