_Watch and share widely our new video that opposes the waving of more than 20 laws to build Trump’s wall (at press time it had more than 10,000 shares!).
_As noted above, DHS plans to waive more than 20 protective laws (that Congress enacted for a reason!) to build a new “bit” of wall (20 miles) near Santa Teresa, New Mexico.
_These informative maps show existing and planned border physical barriers by state - and lists the laws that were waived to build them.
_Creating Trumpzilla, a nativist monster. The White House, namely Steve Franken-Miller, has created a nativist monster that might destroy any hope of a fix for immigrant youth who are losing status after Trump cancelled the DACA program. The innards of this Trumpzilla can be found in the heavy-handed “Framework on Immigration Reform and Border Security” which was leaked here; we expect to see the full monster on Monday. The cruelty of Trumpzilla and many other DC monsters is extreme, bartering the hopes of up to 1.8 million Dreamers in exchange for a wasteful $25 billion slush fund for more wall, more agents, the evisceration of family migration (preventing citizens and immigrants from immigrating their parents and siblings for a start) ; and much more ogre-ness. Activists are calling it dead on arrival. This monster has no heart, but also does not represent our core values of fairness, family unity, and dignity.
_ Putting the wall into perspective. It will cost $2-3 million per mile of the 800 miles that Trump wants to build (don’t forget we already have 700 miles of wall; he wants 800 more). The cost per mile is roughly 20 times the budget of cities like Brownsville, Texas, that are in need of hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure, not more walls. Guess how much it costs to build a hospital_about a billion dollars? And parts of south Texas don’t have one. Seriously, we’re talking about a wall of money spent in w_all the wrong places.
_Just hours after No More Deaths issued a deeply troubling report detailing Border Patrol’s routine destruction of humanitarian aid, Border Patrol arrested a No More Deaths volunteer, Scott Warren, and apprehended two individuals receiving care. This is the latest example of Border Patrol’s seemingly vindictive actions against the group, including writing fines for so-called littering_when volunteers were putting life-saving water and food out in the desert for migrants_and an overly aggressive shutting down of their humanitarian aid clinic.
_Responsible border policies. Andrea Guerrero, chair of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, noted in an article about good and bad legislative proposals that, among border communities, top concerns are “preventing a massive increase in border agents and additional infrastructure_or wall_that isn’t based on any analysis or input from people who live there.”
_Border voices. Congressional members should pay attention to the overwhelming number of border cities and counties that understand the real needs of our communities and have passed resolutions against a border wall. This includes at least 20 local government entities: 14 in Texas (such as Brownsville, El Paso, Hidalgo County, McCallen), at least four in Arizona (e.g., the Tohono O’odham Nation, Flagstaff, Pima County, and Tucson); Las Cruces, New Mexico, and San Diego, California, to name a few. We don’t need no stinkin’ wall.
_Border Patrol Bus-ting Grandma. A video of Border Patrol agents who boarded a Greyhound bus in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., asked passengers for identification, and then arrested a Jamaican national woman in her 60s went viral this week. This is actually a fairly common occurrence in the southern border region with, for example, Border Patrol agents boarding buses several times a day in El Paso, Texas, or in San Diego, California. Which is why we want to flag ACLU’s advice on the matter. Here’s another in-depth explanation of our rights in the border region. Exercise them rights, ‘cuz if you don’t use them, you might lose them.
_Rhyme and Reason? In an article about the use of rockings and fog (?) by smugglers to thwart Border Patrol, yours truly, Vicki Gaubeca, shared her dos centavos on why that does not justify building of more walls: “I think that what it boils down to is that they need truly data-driven resources that are really going to be effective on the border, not just to throw good money at bad solutions.”
_No More Wall for Wall’s Sake. Despite the fact that six out of 10 Americans are against a new border wall, Trump is forcing the issue on Congress without clear justification for the wall. Please call your congressional members and insist they push back on the wall for wall’s sake. Any consideration of more border wall construction must be based on data, analysis, and consultation with impacted communities, and it must comply with the rule of law. Currently, DHS exercises what the Congressional Research Service has characterized as the broadest waiver of law in American history that tramples on sacred lands, ignores water pollution, waste disposal, historic preservation, environmental, religious freedom laws and much more. Enough stupid wall, already.
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.