One_liners, must reads
This week, SBCC took a delegation of Border Dreamers from Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to Washington, DC, to put a human face on the harm that would be caused by adding more border enforcement to a Dream Act and to demand that a clean Dream Act be passed now.
- Top_line message. Some congressional members have gotten so wrapped up in their posturing and political games, they forget that the legislation they pass_or don’t pass_affects real people. The delegation aimed to ensure these officials became officially woke. The Original Dreamers (i.e., Dreamer’s parents and loved ones) are placed at risk when more border enforcement resources are attached to a Dream Act, especially when you consider that more than 20% of all DACA recipients live in border communities. It is cruel and unfair for lawmakers to force young people who are American in all but paperwork to make a choice between their safety and putting their parents and loved ones at risk.
- Furthermore, (a) we already have a super hyper-militarized border, (b) with Border Patrol agents apprehending less than 2 people a month, we really don’t need more, and (c) what we need is more accountability and oversight so that agents who commit crimes, like drug smuggling, fraud, rape, and murder are held accountable.
- What accountability looks like. The SBCC delegation also made recommendations on accountability measures Border Patrol could implement_some of which are police best practices_such as body worn cameras, data gathering of arrests including by demographics, public reporting of abuses and how these are handled, and a responsive and timely complaints system.
Media lines. English- and Spanish-speaking reporters interviewed several members of the delegation, including Carlos Corral, who was interviewed by Telemundo and Itzel Guillen and Dulce Garcia by the San Diego Union-Tribune, “The real dream is not just about protection for ourselves, but it’s also about protecting the original dreamers, our parents,” said Itzel Guillen, a DACA recipient who joined the delegation to Washington. “We are not willing to exchange our safety for that of our families and loved ones.”
Congressional Briefing, co-sponsored by SBCC, United We Dream, and the ACLU. Tuesday morning Border Dreamers Allyson Duarte (McAllen, TX), Itzel Guillen (San Diego, CA), Carlos Corral (Chaparral, NM) and Jessica Garcia Rodriguez (Tucson, AZ) provided testimonies at a Senate briefing hosted by Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM). Christian Ramirez, SBCC director, moderated the panel, and Sanaa Abrar, United We Dream senior policy fellow, shared a solidarity message.
Bi-partisan Visits. At times there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when Border Dreamers shared their fears and concerns about enhanced border enforcement and urged immediate protections from both Republican and Democratic congressional members and staffers noted below. We hope they got it.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ)
Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA)
Rep. Stevan Pearce (R-NM)
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX)
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)
Rep. Filemon Vela (R-TX)
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Sen. Mark Udall (D-NM
Committees and Caucuses. On Tuesday, Border Dreamers shared their stories with Congressional Hispanic Committee (CHC) Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) and CHC members, including Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL), Rep. Jimmy Gómez (D-CA) and Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA). On Wednesday, Border Dreamers met with Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chair Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Vice-Chairs Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) and CPC members, including Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Rep. Jimmy Gómez (D-CA), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).
Another level of cruelty. In other news this week, Border Patrol bumped up their actions to a new level of sinister by apprehending at a Texas Border Patrol checkpoint Rosa Maria Hernandez, a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who was being rushed to a hospital in an ambulance for emergency gallbladder surgery. Border Patrol agents escorted her to the hospital and stood guard 24/7 outside her hospital room and, when she was discharged, put her in deportation proceedings and refused to release her to her parents. Astrid Dominguez, of the ACLU of Texas (and SBCC steering committee member), said when interviewed by NPR, "Rosa Maria shouldn't spend one more day away from her parents. We are outraged that the Trump administration and Border Patrol would go after a child like Rosa Maria." Sen. Feinstein (D-CA) wrote, “Is the president so terrified of this little girl with cerebral palsy that his agents had to stop an ambulance speeding her to surgery? The Department of Homeland Security should be ashamed of itself” and Rep. Castro (D-TX) urged authorities to release Rosa Maria to her family. This is further evidence that we do not need more Border Patrol agents to wreak havoc and trauma in our communities.
Best Line: This week, the eight prototypes for Trump’s wall were completed on Otay Mesa, near San Diego, CA. These prototypes not only represent the possibility of a colossal waste of taxpayer’s money, the cost for building the wall_estimated at $21 billion_doesn’t even include the costs of maintaining this behemoth. The wall would also seize property from border landowners, irreparably damage fragile ecosystems, harm international economic opportunities, cause life-threatening flooding in border communities, and infringe on tribal sovereignty. And get this, to evaluate which prototype works best, contractors still have to wait a month for the concrete to dry. "Absolute waste of money, it's a boondoggle meant to satiate this idea that the president promised a border wall," said Pedro Rios, the director of the U.S.-Mexico Border Program for the American Friends Service Committee (and member of the SBCC steering committee). He added that “the focus needs to be on the immigration system, not the wall.”
Throw Border Dreamers a life_line. Support courageous Border Dreamers by calling your congressional member and demanding they pass a clean DREAM Act now. Be sure to tell them we don’t need any more Border Patrol boots, immigration detention beds or a wall. #NoBootsNoBedsNoWall #CleanDreamNow
border_lines is published every Friday for your reading pleasure. If you’d like to submit an item for inclusion, please email Vicki B. Gaubeca at [email protected], by Wednesday COB.