16:07 GMT28 September 2020
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    A new report in the New York Times details that around two weeks before the 2018 midterm elections, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials, at the request of US President Donald Trump, suggested deploying a microwave, or “heat ray,” weapon at the country’s southern border to deter illegal crossings.

    The Active Denial System, the Pentagon’s first non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel system, became a topic of conversation during a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) meeting on October 22, 2018, after CBP personnel were instructed by Trump to take “extreme action” against migrants at the US-Mexico border, according to the New York Times.

    Citing DHS-linked officials, the Times revealed that then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen spoke with an aide following the meeting and ordered that such a suggestion not be brought up again in her presence. Nielsen also reportedly indicated that she would not authorize the use of the device.

    Attendees of the October 2018 DHS meeting were reportedly “shocked” by the suggestion of using the Active Denial System, which is not radioactive but delivers a focused beam of millimeter waves that “provides a quick and reversible skin surface heating sensation,” according to the Joint Intermediate Force Capabilities Office.

    The Active Denial System sits on a vessel at 3rd Port at Fort Eustis, Va., after being used in a demonstration, Sept. 12, 2013. This is the first time the ADS system has ever been used in a maritime environment.
    US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Wesley Farnsworth
    The Active Denial System sits on a vessel at 3rd Port at Fort Eustis, Va., after being used in a demonstration, Sept. 12, 2013. This is the first time the ADS system has ever been used in a maritime environment.

    DHS spokesperson Alexei Woltornist asserted to the Times on Wednesday that the electromagnetic weapon “was never considered” for use on the border.

    The report of Trump’s call for “extreme action” at the southern US border comes alongside recent ads featuring Trump-era White House staffers supporting Democratic presidential nominee and former US Vice President Joe Biden.

    Miles Taylor, a former chief of staff for the Trump administration’s DHS, has recently become the face of former government employees who may now regret their time within the administration.

    Taylor quickly became known as a “former DISGRUNTLED EMPLOYEE” after Trump denounced a viral video posted by Taylor and the organization Republican Voters Against Trump.

    “The president wanted to exploit the Department of Homeland Security for his own political purposes and to fuel his own agenda,” Taylor argued in the ad.

    He went on to accuse the president of demanding a “deliberate policy of ripping children away from their parents to show those parents that they shouldn’t come to the border in the first place.”

    “A lot of the time, the things he wanted to do not only were impossible but, in many cases, illegal,” Taylor asserted.

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    Tags:
    US-Mexico border, DHS, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), New York Times, New York, border agent
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