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Captain says US military does not view Central American migrants as ‘enemies’

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A captain with the U.S. forces deployed in San Diego to fortify the southern border said he does not view the migrants from a Central American caravan amassing in Mexico as “enemies” after President Donald Trump described them as an “invasion.”

“I don’t consider them a military enemy, nor does the United States military doing this job. They’re simply migrants in a caravan moving towards the United States to seek a better way of life and asylum,” Army Captain Guster Cunningham III told Reuters on Thursday.

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“The military is not classifying them as the enemy in any way, shape or form,” said Cunningham, who is the spokesman for the Special Purpose Marine Ground- Air Taskforce 7.

Trump’s politically charged decision to send troops to the border with Mexico came ahead of U.S. congressional elections last week. He was seeking to strengthen border security as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration.

The number of U.S. troops at the border with Mexico may have peaked at about 5,800, the U.S. commander of the mission told Reuters, noting he would start looking next week at whether to begin sending forces home or perhaps shifting some to new border positions.

The Pentagon says there are no plans for U.S. forces to interact with migrants and that they had been carrying out support tasks for U.S. Customs and Border (CBP), such as stringing up concertina wire and building temporary housing for themselves and CBP personnel.

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“As far as us being confronted with migrants, the possibility still remains zero because that’s not our job. Our job again is to fortify the fence and enable CBP to do their enforcement job,” Cunningham said.

Up to 1,000 migrants linked to the caravans have arrived in the Mexican border city of Tijuana in recent days, with a similar number expected to arrive in the next few days. Thousands more could then arrive in border towns as the bulk of the caravans arrive.

Many of the migrants in the caravans, which include women and children, say they are fleeing gang violence and poverty. However. Trump suggested, without providing proof, the caravans could be hiding extremists.

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Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Paul Tait

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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GOP lawmaker cut the mic on black woman’s facts — but let white men spew ‘lunacy and lies’: report

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The Republican chair of a Tennessee legislative committee is under fire for cutting off the microphone while a woman of color was speaking -- but allowing white men to spew "lunacy."

"It took all of five minutes for Sen. Mike Bell, chairman of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, to prove Cherisse Scott’s point. Scott is founder and CEO of Sister Reach, a Memphis organization that fights for reproductive freedom and health for rural women and girls of color struggling with poverty," Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee explained.

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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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