White House Approves ‘Lethal Force’ Against Migrant Caravan, May Violate US Law
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly signed a memo allowing the 5,900 U.S. troops stationed at the U.S.-Mexico border to engage in lethal force, if necessary, against a caravan of migrant asylum seekers (video below).
According to the Military Times, the memo allows:
Department of Defense military personnel [to] perform those military protective activities that the Secretary of Defense determines are reasonably necessary [to protect border agents, including] a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention. and cursory search.
However, the memo appears to contradict the 1898 Posse Comitatus Act, which does not allow the U.S. military to perform civilian law enforcement.
The Congressional Research Service, the non-partisan research agency, says that “case law indicates that ‘execution of the law’ in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act occurs (a) when the Armed Forces perform tasks assigned to an organ of civil government, or (b) when the Armed Forces perform tasks assigned to them solely for purposes of civilian government.”
The Posse Comitatus Act does allow the president “to use military force to suppress insurrection or to enforce federal authority.”
MSNBC notes that Trump’s military actions at the border will cost taxpayers $220 million by the end of the year (video below).