SOUTHERN BORDER REGION – Christian Ramirez, Director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC), issued the following statement in response to an AP report that the Trump Administration considered the use of National Guard soldiers to round up undocumented immigrants:
“We are deeply concerned about reports that the Trump Administration would even consider giving armed National Guard units along the border and beyond the same extraordinary powers of immigration officers.
Customs and Border officials already have extraordinary powers including the ability to ‘stop and frisk’ and racially profile residents. They can stop, interrogate and search children on their way to school, parents on their way to work, and families going to doctor’s appointments or the grocery store, well inside the United States
— all without a warrant or reasonable suspicion. Any attempt to deploy the National Guard will further trample the civil rights of millions of people in the borderlands, and erode the trust between communities and law enforcement, making communities less safe.
Any talk about deploying military personnel to our communities is not only of great concern to border residents who have been living under the boot of border militarization for generations, but it should be of great concern to our democracy. Having military personnel enforce civilian laws runs counter to basic principles of our democratic society and we should be concerned with the notion of this being contemplated by this administration.”
The Southern Border Communities Coalition brings together more than 60 organizations from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, to ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region. For more information, please visit www.southernborder.org.