Washington:President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order directing the deployment of military along the US-Mexico border to fight illegal immigration, asserting that the situation had reached “a point of crisis.”
The announcement came a day after Trump said he intended to deploy the National Guard to the US-Mexico border until his administration was able to deliver on his campaign promise to build a wall to bolster security.
Given the importance to secure borders for national security, the National Guard, in coordination with governors, will remain in a support role until Congress takes the action necessary to close the loopholes, the White House said.
“The situation at the border has now reached a point of crisis. The lawlessness that continues at our southern border is fundamentally incompatible with the safety, security, and sovereignty of the American people. My administration has no choice but to act,” Trump said in his memorandum to the Defence Secretary, Attorney general and the Secretary of Homeland Secretary.
The threat is real the Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters at a White House news conference.
“We continue to see unacceptable levels of illegal drugs, dangerous gang activity, transnational criminal organisations and illegal immigration flow across our border,” she said.
This threatens not only the safety of American communities and children, but also the very rule of law, on which, the country was founded. “It’s time to act. So let’s talk a little bit about that today,” she said.
“In an effort to prevent such a consequence, the president has directed that the Department of Defence and the Department of Homeland Security to work together with our governors to deploy the National Guard to our southwest border to assist the Border Patrol,” she said.
Border Patrol recorded 37,393 arrests on the southwest border in March, according to data released by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
In the last 15 months, she said the Trump administration has taken major steps to methodically strengthen border security.
“We began the first new border wall system construction in close to a decade, we modified our asylum system processing to more quickly adjudicate claims and we ended so-called temporary immigration programme,” Nielson said.
Ruing that the system rewards bad behaviour, she said it does not punish law breakers.
“It undermines our nation’s economic interests. Make no mistake, interdiction without the ability to promptly remove those without legitimate cause is not border security, it is not national security,” she asserted.
“We will not allow illegal immigration levels to become the norm. More than 1,000 people a day, 300,000 a year, violating our sovereignty as a nation will never be acceptable to this president,” she said.
Asking the Congress to pass the necessary legislation, Nielsen said in the meantime, Trump has directed that National Guard personnel be deployed to the southern border.
“While plans are being finalised, it’s our expectation that the National Guard will deploy personnel in support of CBP’s border security mission. It will take time to have the details in place, but we are beginning today and we are moving quickly. We are anxious to have the support,” Nielsen said.
This is not the first time in recent history that the National Guard has been deployed to the southern border.
Peace talks with Taliban will happen soon: US
KABUL: The US special envoy for peace in Afghanistan said talks with the Taliban will “happen very soon” but if the insurgents continue to fight, then American forces would support Afghan forces in the war.
Talks between the Taliban and American officials have hit a roadblock after the hardline militants cancelled the fourth round of peace talks last week and rejected the involvement of the Afghan government in the dialogue.
The Taliban threatened to pull out of the peace process with the United States if they diverted from the issue of foreign force withdrawal from Afghanistan, a key demand of the insurgents to end the 17-year war.
The Taliban’s warning came hours after Zalmay Khalilzad landed in Afghanistan after meeting officials from India, China and the United Arab Emirates to discuss the peace process. “If the Taliban want to talk, we can talk. If they want to fight, we can fight,” Khalilzad told journalists in Kabul.
The White House has said President Donald Trump had not issued orders to the Pentagon to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, but the White House has not denied reports that the United States plans to pull out some of the 14,000-strong force currently deployed.
Khalilzad said: “We hope that they [Taliban] want to make peace. But if they do not choose to come to the table, if they choose to continue fighting, the United States will stand with the Afghan people and the Afghan government and support them.”
Speaking about the next date for a meeting with the Taliban, he said: “We are hopeful it will happen very soon. That’s what we’re working towards.” “What we want is to see this conflict end through negotiation, to continue our partnership with Afghanistan and to ensure no terrorist threatens either of us,” Khalilzad told reporters.
UN approves mission to shore up Yemen truce
UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved the deployment to Yemen of up to 75 monitors in a new mission to shore up a fragile ceasefire and oversee a pullback of forces from the flashpoint port of Hodeida.
The observer mission was agreed during talks last month in Sweden between the Saudi-backed government and Houthi rebels and an advance team is already on the ground in the rebel-held city.
The unarmed monitors will be sent to Hodeida city and port as well as to the ports of Saleef and Ras Issa for an initial period of six months.
The resolution calls on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to “expeditiously” deploy the United Nations Mission to support the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA), led by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert.
Guterres has described the mission as a “nimble presence” that will report on violations in Hodeida, which for months was the front line in the war after pro-government forces launched an offensive to capture it in June.
Human Rights Watch warned of a tough road ahead and urged the council to keep the pressure on the warring sides.
“The countdown for exchanging prisoners is fast approaching, but the parties have missed deadlines, putting the prisoner swap in jeopardy,” said Louis Charbonneau, HRW’s UN director.
Lift travel ban on opposition leaders: Pak SC asks Imran Khan govt
Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court Thursday ordered the government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan to lift the travel ban imposed on opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and the Sindh Chief Minister, and asked the country’s anti-corruption body to probe their involvement in Rs 35 billion ‘fake accounts case’.
As many as 172 suspects were placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) on the recommendations of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the apex court.
A person cannot fly abroad if his name is placed on the ECL.
The Supreme Court, in a detailed judgement, ordered the government to remove the names of opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah from the ECL.
It, however, referred the report and material collected by the JIT in the Rs 35 billion ‘fake accounts case’ to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Dawn news reported.
The JIT probe focused on “32 fake accounts” which were allegedly used to give massive financial benefits to former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and several others.
“Removing of the names will not prevent (the) NAB to probe and in case sufficient material is found connecting these individuals with cognisable offences, it will not be precluded from making an appropriate request to the federal government to place their names on (the) ECL again or take any appropriate action provided by law,” according to the judgement authored by Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan.
The apex court in its earlier instructions asked the government to delete names of Bilawal and Shah from the ECL but the Cabinet waited for the detailed judgment.
After the judgement, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the government will decide whether it should implement the court orders or file a review petition.
Justice Ahsan was part of the three-judge bench that last year took a suo-motu cognisance after it emerged that several big names were involved in money laundering through fake accounts.
Currently, a Karachi court is hearing the case against Zardari and Talpur for alleged money laundering.