_Several SBCC members got arrested on the steps of Capitol Hill, including yours truly, during a civil disobedience action while asking for common sense solutions that protect Dreamers without further compromising the integrity of the border.
_Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the government until Dec. 22 while punting on protecting Dreamers, setting up two weeks of intense advocacy leading up to the new deadline.
_Kirstjen Nielsen, who has promised tough border enforcement, was confirmed by the Senate to be the next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
_The Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination of Kevin McAleenan to be CBP Commissioner; next and final step is a full vote on the Senate floor.
_See this Border Patrol infographic we created that shows why Trump’s deportation force is bad for dreamers, the borderlands and beyond, and don’t forget to share!
_We need border integrity. There are now less than two weeks left to get a Dream Act passed before the end of the year, which means things are coming down to the crazy pants wire. A tag team comprised of Christian Ramirez, Andrea Guerrero and myself, Vicki Gaubeca, joined Jenny Johnson in Washington, DC, to participate in the many conversations and circles that are trying to push forward a fix for DACA. We have a presence in all of these spaces and we have reason to hope that something will pass before the end of the year. A permutation of proposals are being cobbled as we speak. At the very least, we are fighting back against any more agents and for adequate oversight and accountability of Customs and Border Protection officials, along with strong protections of the civil and human rights of border communities. In short, we want to broker border integrity.
_Yet another bill joins the line-up of DACA-related bills. In response to a bill introduced as a DACA fix by New Mexico Rep. Stevan Pearce, CAFé Organizer Johana Bencomo and SBCC steering committee member said, “We believe there is a fair legislation that has already been introduced by Senators Durbin and Graham that will give DREAMers, young people that know no other home other than the United States, a pathway to citizenship.”
_A definite downward line on the chart. Pedro Rios, director of American Friends Service Committee’s US-Mexico Border Program and SBCC steering committee member, was quoted in this story about how Border Patrol apprehension rates are the lowest in almost five decades. If apprehension rates are so low, why do we need the wall again? We don’t.
_Apprehension rates are down, but deported people have lived here longer. Joanna Foote Williams, Kino Border Initiative director of education and advocacy and SBCC steering committee member, was quoted in an AP story related to declining Border Patrol apprehensions and the effect it is having south of the Arizona border, saying “we are seeing a lot of people now who have long established ties in the United States.”
_A line to align. Dr. Greg Ewing, Ed.D., Las Cruces Public Schools superintendent (NM), Dr. Kimberly Avila Edwards, chapter chair, Texas Pediatric Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, Jesus Daniel Mendez Carbajal, Border DACA recipient from San Diego, California, James Tomsheck, former assistant commissioner for CBP Internal Affairs from 2006 to 2014 and in the U.S. Secret Service for 23 years, Rick Rynearson, decorated military veteran detained at an interior Border Patrol checkpoint, and Edgar Saldivar, senior staff attorney, ACLU of Texas and member of Rosa Maria Hernandez’ legal team, provided testimony at U.S. Border Communities: Forum on the Current State of Affairs and its Impact on Immigrant Families. We helped coordinate this ad hoc forum hosted by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the Congressional Border Caucus. On the dais were Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair, Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY).
_Get online. We can’t do it without your help. Congressional members need to hear from you these next two weeks. If they don’t feel pressure, they will sit on their bums and allow the more than 10,000 of Dreamers who are at risk for deportation to be deported, including our beloved Border Dreamers, 20 percent of whom live in our communities. They will also try to use Dreamers as a bargaining chip for more border militarization. Enough. Congress has an opportunity to do the right thing. Call now.