Buffalo Area Congressman Says Plan to Put 1,000 Troops at U.S.-Canada Border is a Waste of Valuable Military Resources
“The militarization of the border with personnel and resources stands in contradiction to our history of coordination and cooperation with our Canadian partners.” – Buffalo, New York area Congressman Brian Higgins
Canada is “strongly opposed” to Trump’s Border Militarization Plan, says Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland. “In Canada’s view, this is an entirely unnecessary step which we would view as damaging to our relationship.”
A News Release from the Buffalo, New York Office of U.S. Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins (with a brief update from Niagara At Large reporter Doug Draper
Posted March 27th, 2020 on Niagara At Large
First, here is a Brief Update on this issue from Doug Draper at Niagara At Large –
Since Buffalo area Congressman Brian Higgins issued the following protest against this hair-brain idea late yesterday afternoon, the Trump administration has at least temporarily “spiked” the plan.
Yet given the demons that are so obviously occupying space inside Trump’s head, and his penchant for looking for outside “enemies” to blame for his failings, we can’t be surprised if this idea makes a comeback.
Vigilance is a necessity when it comes to this highly irascible character.
Now here is the News Release that U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins issued –
Buffalo, New York – Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is responding to multiple reports confirmed by the Canadian government that the White House is making plans to send 1,000 U.S. troops to the border between the U.S. and Canada.
Higgins, who serves as Co-Chair of the House of Representatives Northern Border Caucus, released the following in response:
“This plan by the Administration to deploy over 1,000 U.S. troops to the Northern Border is a waste of valuable military resources during a public health crisis, and a totally unnecessary aggressive front on the border we share with America’s greatest ally.
Three days ago the Customs and Border Protection Buffalo Field Office reported a 90% decrease in border crossings. There is nothing occurring at our northern border that can’t be managed by Customs and Border Protections officers and their counterparts in the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
If troops are to be deployed they would be better utilized in operations assisting with the construction of hospitals and distribution of emergency supplies, on a mission to save lives.”
Congressman Higgins’ office has also reached out to the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense for further information. Higgins wrote to the Homeland Security Secretary, whose agency proposed the deployment, expressing opposition to the plan.
To: The Honorable Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20016
Dear Acting Secretary Wolf,
I am very concerned about recent reporting that indicates your intention to send 1000 military personnel to support Customs and Border Protection operations at the northern border.
The mutual agreement between the United States and Canada restricting non-essential travel to slow the spread of COVID-19 was an unfortunate, but necessary step. Troops being stationed at the border “to increase CBP’s capacity to protect public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19” is an unnecessary escalation that negatively impacts our long-standing friendly relationship with our ally.
The militarization of the border with personnel and resources stands in contradiction to our history of coordination and cooperation with our Canadian partners. The Administration’s concern with border crossings in between ports of entry should be addressed through diplomatic channels as opposed to unilateral action.
Canada has demonstrated a willingness to work with the United States on securing and protecting the land border. In the mutual agreement, Canada committed to returning asylum-seekers attempting to enter the country outside of official ports of entry. The Administration would be allocating military resources that can be utilized in more productive ways to secure the homeland.
The US-Canada border should remain un-militarized and I strongly urge you to reconsider this proposal.
Sincerely, Brian Higgins, Member of Congress
U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins‘ Western New York district encompasses the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, and borders Southern Ontario and includes three automobile and two rail crossings between the United States and Canada.
Here is a story in today’s Globe and Mail, reporting that the Trump administration has since “spiked” the idea of posting troops at the Canadian border. To read it, click on – https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-us-wont-post-troops-at-canadian-border-ottawa-says-it-strongly/
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) is responding to the following (click on link) – multiple<https://twitter.com/kenklippenstein/status/1243251520117919745> reports confirmed by the Canadian government<https://www.businessinsider.com/trudeau-says-trump-wants-to-put-troops-near-canadian-border-2020-3> that the White House is making plans to send 1,000 U.S. troops to the border between the U.S. and Canada.
Here is a Slate news story on this matter – https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/8847zp/wait-what-donald-trump-wants-troops-at-the-canadian-border-justin-trudeau?utm_campaign=sharebutton&fbclid=IwAR2vVmrgm6QyituLL9QAMD4QxCsWZUUu9xxWUkmgVTUxHKUXdw5s08aQYEI
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