President Donald Trump’s White House signed a memo Tuesday night permitting the American troops the government’s sent to the border to use lethal force, per a report from Military Times.
The “Cabinet order” was signed by John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff, not the president. Per the report, the order allows for “Department of Defense military personnel” to carry out actions deemed “reasonably necessary,” including “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention and cursory search.” The order will affect the roughly 5,900 active-duty troops and 2,100 National Guards members stationed at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the site.
The memo being snuck out during the late hours of Tuesday night marks another of Trump’s insanely stupid and dangerous ideas coming to fruition. In an interview earlier this month where he played up his fear-mongering campaign against the migrant caravan, Trump said soldiers should view asylum seekers armed with rocks as no different than guns. “There’s not much difference when you get hit in the face with a rock,” he said before walking that back the next day.
But the seed was planted, and now a policy is on the books that can only serve to make the situation more harrowing—and potentially fatal—for a group of immigrants just trying to start over in a new country. Happy Thanksgiving!