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Governor Tony Evers Brings National Guard Troops Home From Southern Border

February 25, 2019

I am very pleased, from a policy perspective, that Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers is withdrawing the Wisconsin National Guard from the US-Mexico border.  I am delighted that facts won out over fear.

Evers said in a news release announcing the order that about 112 troops are currently serving in Arizona.  He made it clear in the news release that keeping the borders safe and protecting immigrants seeking asylum is the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s job.  But even more importantly was Evers making it clear that there is not enough evidence to support Donald Trump’s declaration that a national emergency exists along the border.

This month I wrote a column which was posted and linked statewide that called for our troops to be sent home.  

President Trump manufactured an emergency at the southern border and requested states contribute 4,000 National Guard members to be used as props for his grand power-play.  Former Governor Scott Walker, in an election year, strongly supported Trump’s efforts by referring to them as “aggressive actions” to secure the border.  Walker stated that sending our troops to the border would help reduce drug trafficking.  Unless those troops are stationed at the ports of entry, where most of the drugs come to our country, they are not meeting the expectation of Walker.

We know why Walker made the choice to send our state residents on such a highly publicized mission.  It was to play to the same base of voters in Wisconsin who championed Trump’s original disingenuous claims about caravans and chaos galore.  Walker cared more about playing to the fear factor in the election than about the facts at the border.   It was painful on a moral and ethical level to see such disregard for those who sought asylum; simply assuming they did not meet the established criteria for entry to our nation.  The lack of humanity was stunning to witness.

But now we have a new governor.  And there needs to be a change in policy regarding our state troops at the border.   The men and women who signed up from Abrams to Yorkville should not be used to further a false and dehumanizing operation from the White House.   We need to value the reasons these state residents signed up for duty in the first place.   It was not to demonize people fleeing violence and economic privation.

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