Border Patrol considered using ‘heat ray’ microwave weapon to deter migrants crossing from Mexico ahead of 2018 midterm elections
- Department of Homeland Security leaders suggested using ‘heat ray’ on migrants crossing the Mexico-United States border ahead of the 2018 election
- Two former Trump administration officials attended the October 2018 meeting and revealed the proposal to The New York Times
- The Active Denial System was created by the military to control crowds and was deployed in Afghanistan in 2010
- The weapon uses invisible microwaves to cause a burning sensation on the skin
- A military study found that “there is an extremely low chance that scars caused by such injuries could later become cancer.”
Top customs and border protection officials put forward the idea of deploying a ‘heat ray’ weapon, making the victims’ skin feel like it is burning, as a way of deterring migrants from entering the United States illegally coming from Mexico ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
Two former officials told the New York Times that the idea was proposed to shock attendees at a Department of Homeland Security meeting on Oct. 22, 2018 – 15 days before the election.
The proposal came after Donald Trump demanded “ extreme action ” at a previous meeting to contain immigration along the 1,954-mile southern border with Mexico.
US Customs and Border Protection suggested using the Active Denial System – a “non-lethal” weapon that uses microwave energy to heat the surface of the skin.
The system was designed by the US military for area denial and crowd control, and was deployed in Afghanistan in 2010, although it is unknown if it was used.
Officials at the rally said that Kirstjen Nielsen, who was the Secretary of Homeland Security at the time, was against “ heat ray ” and claimed no such idea should emerge in her presence.
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According to The New York Times, Department of Homeland Security leaders proposed using a “heat ray” sensor to limit the flow of migrants across the Mexico-United States border at a meeting on Oct. 22, 2018. The idea came after President Donald Trump called for “ extreme action ” on the southern border ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.
President Donald Trump has suggested in the past that the military should shoot undocumented immigrants in the legs if they are caught crossing the United States-Mexico border
The Active Denial System weapon was first deployed in Afghanistan in June 2010, but was removed a month later. As of 2014, it was only used as a vehicle mounted weapon.
The non-lethal weapon fires a powerful 95 GHz frequency waves, and a two second burst can heat the skin up to 130 Fahrenheit.
At the time of its introduction, an Air Force study found that there was “an extremely low chance that scars resulting from such injuries would later become cancer.”
Good wound management further reduces this risk, as well as the risk of hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation. ‘
An Air Force pilot who was exposed to the Active Denial System as part of a test in 2007 was hospitalized for two days after suffering second-degree burns to his legs.
It is not known whether Trump ever broached the subject of deployment of the weapon, or whether he was made aware of the CBP’s proposal to use it.
But Homeland Security spokesman Alexei Woltornist told The New York Times the agency had “ never considered ” it.
President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies have not stopped migrants from illegally crossing the border between Mexico and the United States. Pictured above is a group of migrants from Latin America detained in El Paso, Texas, on May 16, 2019
In his bid to tackle illegal immigration, Trump has backed the separation of families who have unlawfully entered the United States and has even publicly proposed that the military should fire undocumented immigrants. He once suggested placing alligators and snakes along the border walls.
According to the latest CBP statistics, the number of detentions at the United States’ border with Mexico has risen from 17,086 in April to 40,746 in July in the past four months.
However, at Tuesday’s Republican Convention, hardly any reference was made to the strict and highly criticized policy on Tuesday and only passing reference to Trump’s signature plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
The most prominent mention of immigration came during a recorded segment where Trump oversaw a naturalization ceremony at the White House, jovially congratulating five immigrants for being sworn in as new US citizens.