Things That Matter

Trump Stokes Fear Of Immigrants As US Prepares To Send Thousands Of Troops To The Border

The Trump administration has ordered an additional 5,200 troops to the U.S. Mexico border just a week before the midterm elections. The president has put his focus on the Central American migrant caravan that is still hundreds of miles from the U.S. Many see the deployment of troops as an effort to drive the president’s base to the polls next week as he continues to stoke fears about illegal immigration.

President Donald Trump is delpoying 5,2000 additional troops to the U.S.-Mexico border just one week before the midterm elections.

The deployment of forces is being called “Operation Faithful Patriot” will include military police, pilots, and engineers that will be at the border from November 5 to December 15. The troops won’t be able to participate in detaining or deporting any of the migrants because U.S. law forbids them from detaining individuals at the border. They will be able to assist officials by doing things like transporting border agents and providing emergency care.

“As we sit here today, we have about 800 soldiers that are on their way right now. They’re coming from from Ft. Campbell. They’re coming from Ft. Knox. They’re moving closer to the border” and are “ready to be employed on the border,” Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of the U.S. Northern Command, said in a news conference.

The number of troops being deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border is almost the same number of troops the U.S. has in Syria and Iraq.

Some are calling the deployment of troops to the U.S. border a political move as midterms loom next week.

The president sent out a tweet Wednesday morning saying “The Caravans are made up of some very tough fighters and people” and that they “Should stop them before they reach our Border.” He also claimed that the migrant caravans making their way through the south of Mexico are “made up of some very bad thugs and gang members”.

This comes a day after the president announced that he would end birthright citizenship by executive order, a plan with shaky legal standing. Yet many just see this as fear mongering against immigrants as the midterms quickly approach next Tuesday. Trump has labeled the migrants as an “invasion” and falsely stated they harbor terrorists and are financed by Democrats. The president denied his focus on the caravan is intended rile up voters in next week’s midterms. Trump told Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham, “This has nothing to do with elections.”

The caravan is still weeks away from reaching the U.S.-Mexico border and would still face challenges entering the country.

CREDIT: USA Today

The highest estimate of the number of migrants was at 7,000, but the caravan has dwindled as some return home or seek asylum in Mexico. Current estimates put the number of migrants over or near 4,000. Any migrants who makes it to the U.S. border already face major challenges in being allowed into the U.S. Under current law, migrants who clear initial screenings are then released until their cases are decided in immigration court, which can take up to several years.

Migrants are legally allowed to apply for asylum under both U.S. and international law, but there is already a backlog of would-be asylum seekers.

“The men and women of the U.S. military work hard to protect us from real threats. It is beyond cynical, and sets a terrible precedent, to exploit them for political stagecraft in the run-up to an election,” Adam Isacson, director for defense oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America, told the LA Times.”This is the very opposite of what the U.S. military’s mission is.”


READ: Here’s Why Trump Is Wrong When He Says He Can Get Rid Of Birthright Citizenship With An Executive Order

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This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

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Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

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