White House Chief of Staff John Kelly Signs “Cabinet Order” That Allows Troops to Shoot Refugees at Border

Lost in much of the media was the fact on Tuesday, the White House signed a memorandum allowing troops stationed at the southern border of the United States to engage in some law enforement roles and use lethal force, if necessary — a move that legal experts have cautioned may run afoul of the Posse Comitatus Act.

The new “Cabinet order” was signed by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, not President Donald Trump. It 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.”

CREDO released the following statement in response to deeply troubling reports that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has signed a “cabinet order” allowing troops stationed at the border to act as law enforcement officials and use lethal force:

“If the reports are accurate, this move is immoral, idiotic and almost certainly illegal,” CREDO Action Co-Director Josh Nelson said. “Time and time again, Trump has shown his utter indifference to the rule of law and his animosity toward immigrants,” Nelson said. “Each time Americans think Trump won’t stoop lower, he proves us wrong,” he continued. “Every member of Congress must immediately condemn this unconstitutional use of military force, and do everything they can to stop this manufactured crisis before it leads to bloodshed.”

CREDO Action, part of CREDO Mobile, is a social change network of over five million activists, sending tens of millions of petition signatures and hundreds of thousands of phone calls to decision-makers each year. CREDO Action members also participate in meetings, protests and other direct action for progressive change.


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