2020 Vision

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_As part of the Defund Hate Coalition, we released a video with partners to call on Congress to defund ICE and CBP and stop the human rights abuses committed by Trump’s deportation force.

_SBCC Co-Chair Johana Bencomo of New Mexico CAFé spoke on a panel with Dylan Corbett of the Hope Border Institute and shared some findings from their report on border militarization in South New Mexico and El Paso.

_The Pentagon diverted $1.5 billion in funding to construct 78 miles of replacement border wall, and our partners at the Southwest Environmental Center condemned the complete disregard for well-being of border communities and the region.

_This week Trump unveiled his immigration proposal, which is just more of the same myopic enforcement-only policies that undermine families.


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_2020 Vision. For decades, our enforcement-only border policies have militarized our borders, cast aside human rights, criminalized migrants and engaged in deadly and unaccountable border enforcement, undermining public safety for all. We got a bunch of reminders this week of just how myopic our policies have become when Trump waived dozens of laws to build walls on ecological preserves (see below) and TSA agents prepared to go to the border to address a self-made humanitarian crisis. Well, it's time to turn this mess around. That's why this week we unveiled A New Border Vision, a framework to move us away from the harmful policies of the past to a new vision of good border governance for the future. It’s a vision that expands public safety, protects human rights, and welcomes residents and newcomers in a manner consistent with our national values and global best practices. We hope that this new vision will help ground national politics as the 2020 presidential election cycle gets underway. Through this vision, border communities are sharing their perspective and calling for real and transformational change. Now, has anybody seen my glasses?

_Monumental disaster. It seems like the Trump Administration just doesn’t know when to quit with this wall mess, regardless of all the intel that says walls don’t work. Now, Trump’s looking to replace barriers in 100 miles of land between California and Arizona, including through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the Cabeza Prieta Wildlife refuge, which is home to 275 different wildlife species. And just how is he trying to get away with this? With a waive of the hand, so to speak. The Department of Homeland Security has been issuing waivers of laws protecting these areas_and the people in them_ like they’re going out of style, to try and satisfy Trump’s obsession with building walls, fences and barriers as quickly as possible. In an effort to stop this natural disaster in the making, SBCC filed a lawsuit with the ACLU and the Sierra Club. SBCC partners from all across the borderlands filed declarations (including yours truly) as part of a preliminary injunction, and today a Federal court will hear arguments in the case. Our lawsuit points out the flooding these walls cause, as well as the damage to wildlife habitats and human lives. Our nation isn’t a kingdom, it’s a democracy, and Trump’s attempt at spending money by fiat, not by law, has real consequences for border communities. We’ll do everything we can to make sure Trump doesn’t get his monument to death in the form of a wall at the expense of our wildlife, our democracy and our lives. We need a New Border Vision.

_A bad deal. Trump’s policy of making families wait in Mexico to even present their asylum claims continues to put vulnerable families and children in precarious situations, by requiring families seeking asylum to await the status of their claims in Mexico. While all of this is happening, another young life was lost in immigration custody, another tragedy in the long list of deaths by border patrol agents. Bad policies are literally killing us. But don’t just take our word for it_former border patrol agent Jenn Budd wrote an an eye-opening blog post comparing the ways border patrol policies are just as dangerous to migrants as smugglers. The only way out of this dark and deadly mess is to defund the border agencies that enforce these terrible policies, and rethink how we govern our borders. A New Border Vision anyone?

_The sacredness of migration. Migration is a human phenomenon as old as time and a part of nearly every family’s story. It is a defining feature of our globalized world, making every country, including the United States, a country of origin, transit, and destination, as our New Border Vision points out. Yet Trump would have us believe that the migration of children and their families is some sort of threat_instead of part of the natural flow of humanity_and his policies show his desire to strip migrating people of their basic human rights. The trial of Scott Warren, volunteer with No More Deaths/No Mas Muertes, is a prime example. Warren is being tried for, among other things, leaving humanitarian aid (water and food) behind in dangerous areas known to be frequented by migrants, who are pushed into these areas because of the extreme militarization of the border. For Warren, aiding these desperate people entering these dangerous areas after fleeing the dangers of their home countries is a sacred act, an act that upholds the dignity and rights of these people in our country_the rights to life, to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness. As the trial moves forward, No More Deaths and other search and rescue groups continue to find the remains of migrants on those same grounds. Trump’s policies of death and militarization don’t reflect the sacredness of those rights, and don’t reflect the history of our nation, which has, decade after decade, fought for the rights of all people. We say, enough is enough, and that’s why we’re moving towards a New Border Vision. We need clear processes and sufficient access for migrants without prior authorization to approach the ports of entry to seek asylum, protection, or other assistance. Migration should never be criminalized. To do so is to criminalize a fundamental human experience. In order for the United States to engage in managing migration in a manner consistent with our values, our policies must reflect our humanity. Let’s keep our rights and values sacred.

_Help build the vision. Even with all of the terrible news that our Commander-in-Grief Trump brings week after week, we have an opportunity to turn the tides this 2020 election season, and call for border governance for the 21st century by urging our presidential candidates and elected officials to use A New Border Vision as a framework. Call your legislator and urge them to help us create a New Border Vision, share it on social media, and help us spread the word. #NewBorderVision, #RevitalizeNotMilitarize


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.


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Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.


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