Courtesy of Nsub1 via Flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Biden administration, like many of its predecessors, is making the same mistakes when it comes to issues regarding the southern border. The humanitarian crisis at the southern border is only getting more complicated, with the influx of people trying to seek asylum in the United States. The damaging butterfly effects from past administrations continue to influence the ways in which the border operates. It’s easy to say that things are better because of  the Biden administration’s quick move to halt the construction of former President Trump’s infamous border wall. However, the way this current administration continues to use the border as a testing ground for inhumane military weapons should be  cause for concern. 

Recently, the Department of Homeland Security started to use the southern border as a testing ground for a machine that can best be described as a headless robot surveillance dog. The machine, which is made by the company Ghost Robotics, has previously demonstrated models of the same robots equipped with firearms. The DHS has pitched these machines as a futuristic version of man’s best friend with the intention of helping border problem agents navigate through rough terrain. While at first glance these machines may look harmless, we have not seen their full potential. These robot dogs are just an addition to the already long list of technologies currently being used at the southern border. Technology like drones and motion sensors put people who are trying to seek asylum in the U.S. in even more danger. 

While the situation at the border might seem far removed from issues affecting everyday Americans, it’s been proven that these technologies, which are first tested on areas like the southern border, are later used by the U.S. government to monitor people right here in the states. For example, during large anti-racist protest, the DHS used the same drone technology to monitor protestors in over 15 different cities. Once the government knows a certain piece of technology works effectively, they have no problem using it on a larger scale.  

Furthermore, the southern border has been a terrible place for countless amounts of individuals trying to seek asylum in the United States. During the Trump administration, children were being held in cages separated from their parents. The conditions were downright inhumane, many children faced with the real possibility of never seeing their parents again. Countless times we have seen refugees from across Latin America look towards the United States in hopes of seeing a brighter future. Instead of helping we tell them that if they try to come here they will be turned away. Border patrol agents have been pictured on horseback using brutal force to round up immigrants caught trying to cross Rio Grande.   

The current administration allowing DHS to use the southern border as a playground for their military weapon testing should be heavily frowned upon if not outright banned. It’s already a traumatizing experience to have to seek asylum in a different country, and there’s no need to add headless robot dogs to the mix. The Biden administration should allocate portions of the billions of dollars which he gives to the military and use that money to help solve the immigration crisis at the southern border instead of using that money to further inflict more stress and pain onto an already vulnerable community of people who are seeking asylum in the U.S.