Biden administration tests ‘robotic dogs’ at US-Mexico border

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted a “featured article” on its website on February 1 confirming that the Biden administration is testing potentially deadly four-legged “robot dogs” at the US-Mexico border.

The lightweight DHS article concludes by warning readers: “[D]Don’t be surprised if in the future we see the ‘Fido’ robot in the field, walking side by side with CBP [Customs and Border Protection] staff.” The agency says the four-legged drones “would help bolster the Border Patrol’s presence in the area.”

The memo does not mention that the “Fido” robot can easily be equipped with automated weapons for use in a “variety of combat applications”, according to its creators.

The particular version of the robotic dog tested at the frontier is produced by the Philadelphia-based company Ghost Robotics. Ghost Robotics has produced dog drones with a number of business partners, including Verizon, Amazon Web Services and weapons maker SWORD.

The partnership with SWORD made headlines when the makers showcased a heavily armed “robodog” at the Association of the US Army’s 2021 annual conference last October.

The SWORD website boasts that the company’s Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle (SPUR) was specifically designed to “deliver precision fire from unmanned platforms such as the Ghost Robotics Vision-60 quadruped.” – the robot currently being tested at the border.

The SWORD website states that SPUR is “the future of unmanned weapon systems, and that future is now”.

It is necessary to say clearly: if not stopped, this technology will one day be distributed to the local police to be used against the working class.

Twitter users were outraged when a Twitter post from Ghost Robotics featured one of the heavily armed “robodogs” under the hashtags #NationalSecurity #drone #robotics, and tagged US Southern Command.

Fluffyfur3030 commented, “So you took some fancy steps to avoid saying the quiet part out loud. Let me do it for you. We created soulless material for brutal population suppression when billionaires finally feared for their ill-gotten gains. The comment received 1600 likes.

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Another tweeted: “So how many civilians per second is it designed to kill? Because let’s face it, this will be deployed on American citizens sooner than it will be used for legitimate warfare.

Already, similar “robot dogs” have been tested to “help” police in different circumstances in cities across the United States In Honolulu, the police department has acquired a $150,000 robot dog, bought with money from COVID relief, to harass and take the temperature of the homeless. In New York City, the police department tested a robot dog during various police calls last spring. The reaction of workers in both cities was such that the departments had to terminate the contracts.

Preparing robotic attack dogs to patrol the border is just the Democratic Biden administration’s latest attack on immigrants and asylum seekers. Although he has campaigned on the basis of opposition to Trump’s ruthless and inhumane immigration policies, since taking office, Biden has not diverged significantly from his predecessor’s anti-immigrant agenda.

In fact, Biden has revived and expanded a legal process known as the “Rocket Docket,” which speeds up the deportation process by giving asylum-seeking families less than a year to defend their right to stay in the United States. United.

Asylum cases can take years to resolve, even with the most expert and expensive lawyers. The expedited timeline is designed to reject as many asylum seekers as possible.

The Biden administration also continued to use Title 42, a little-known provision of US health care law exploited by former President Trump to deport people seeking asylum on the grounds that they pose a health risk. public. Following Trump’s lead, Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is cynically using the pandemic to implement a right-wing immigration policy that violates both international and US law. Biden went so far as to defend the use of Title 42 in court in August.

The use of Title 42, under conditions where the Biden administration is acting aggressively to remove all remaining public health measures that slow the spread of COVID-19, is particularly sinister and hypocritical.

According to official CBP statistics, the overwhelming majority of the nearly 1.5 million people deported via Title 42 since March 2020, when Trump invoked the provision, were deported during President Biden’s tenure.

Biden was briefly attacked for his use of Title 42 in September, after video footage and photographic images of US Border Patrol agents rounding up Haitian migrants like they were cattle sparked widespread revulsion in United States and around the world. In the end, the administration deported nearly 4,000 people to Haiti in just nine days.

Many of these people had not lived in Haiti for years, some for more than a decade. Most children were born or raised in South America and are more fluent in Spanish or Portuguese than Haitian Creole or French.

For all of its proclaimed differences with Trump, touted during election campaigns, the Democratic Party has done everything in its power to maintain Trump-era immigration policies, further militarizing the border and persecuting migrants and applicants. of asylum. Biden is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Barack Obama. The Obama-Biden administration has overseen more deportations than ever before, earning Obama the nickname “deporter-in-chief.”

This latest attack on immigrants by the Biden administration demonstrates once again that there is no constituency in the ruling class for the defense of democratic rights. Only the working class can defend immigrants against the dictatorial policies of the ruling class, Democrats and Republicans alike.

All workers, regardless of their immigration status, are the ultimate target of the undemocratic methods used against immigrants. All instruments of war used against immigrants will be turned against workers protesting the homicidal COVID policies of profits before human life of both capitalist parties, as well as runaway price hikes, real wage cuts and inequality ever-increasing social.

Concentration camps for “illegal” immigrants will be used to detain workers engaged in “illegal” strikes and demonstrations.

The entire working class in the United States and around the world must link its demands for wages, benefits and social equality to the defense of immigrant workers, who must be guaranteed the right to live and to work in the country of their choice, with full legal rights.

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