Apr 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump administration adds military cameras at U.S.-Mexico border

The Paso del Norte International Bridge. Photo by Paul Ratje/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration has been installing surveillance cameras on the U.S.-Mexico border because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents reviewed by AP.

Why it matters: It is adding the cameras, which are manned by manned by the military, even though fewer people appear to be crossing illegally.

  • The documents show that the Pentagon sent 60 mobile surveillance cameras and 540 soldiers to the border in April at the request of the Department of Homeland Security.

What they're saying: Matthew Dyman, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, told the AP that the Pentagon will remove the cameras after the pandemic is over.

  • He added that each person who crosses the border illegally "has the potential to be carrying the COVID-19 virus and puts American lives at risk."

The other side: "There is no evidence that suggests there are hordes of COVID-19 patients lined up along the border," David Shirk, an associate political science professor at University of San Diego, told the AP.

  • "And there is no evidence that COVID-19 is even contributing to a surge in people trying to cross the border."

The big picture: The cameras were deployed only days before President Trump issued an executive order pausing the issuance of green cards for 60 days, arguing it would limit competition for jobs.

Go deeper

Trump's week of viral quicksand

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

Why it matters: Trump's force-over-compassion approach to the demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd had Republican allies backpedaling to keep a distance — and led to a wave of condemnations that got plenty of online traction on their own.

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.