_SBCC steering committee members Mike Seifert of ACLU of Texas and Christina Patiño-Houle of Equal Voice Network criticized the practice of Mexican government officials exploiting asylum seekers who were made to wait in Mexico by U.S. officials at ports of entry.
_SBCC steering committee members Joanna Williams of Kino Border Initiative and SBCC ally Shaw Drake of ACLU Border Rights Center share their thoughts on a fabricated crisis at the border, which is thinning capacity and humanitarian responses, but is also de facto ignoring U.S. legal obligations.
_Here is a list of all the endangered and protected species that will be negatively affected by Trump’s border wall.
_$0, zero, nil, nada, and no tradeoffs. We might be in the midst of a watershed moment, where the next steps taken will play a critical role in how we define our country_and it all may boil down to a bold stance to zero out spending proposals that add to the harms caused in the last two decades to our border and immigrant communities. This new, courageous stance would resist the Sophie’s Choice that so many of us feel we were crunched into_ such as choosing between protections for one group, like Dreamers, while sacrificing another group, like border communities or Dreamers’ parents who made enormous sacrifices to give a better life to their children. And, here’s the thing, prior to the midterm elections, we have continued to rely on a faulty paradigm that claimed progress was achieved with a compromise between the good (immigration reform) and the bad (border enforcement, which erodes the rights and quality of life of the 15 million people, including 1 in 5 Dreamers who call the border home). We’re going to continue to call BS on this paradigm and urge elected officials not to give in to a false compromise like the one espoused in this OpEd. Plus, an immigration proposal is simply not on the table. The time is ripe for our elected officials to hear that the vast majority of voters have not only demanded protections for Dreamers and just and fair immigration reform, but have also said that the building of more wall and border militarization is folly and harmful. A paradigm shift should fill the medulla of our movement now.
_Political claptrap. When Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, it required the Secretary of Homeland Security to submit to both Appropriations Committees, on or before September 19, a risk-based border-security plan. This border-security report is now more than two months overdue, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication by the DHS Secretary that it will ever be produced. Not only is this a flagrant, nose thumbing to Congress, it comes at a time when congressional members are negotiating for billions more in border wall funding and Trump is threatening a government shutdown if he does not get $5 billion for his dumb and harmful wall. How does this cart before the horse make sense? Shouldn’t DHS’s role be to show whether border walls even work_before spending any more taxpayers dollars? Shouldn’t there also be a comprehensive evaluation of the harms caused by border walls to private landowners, endangered and protected species, the environment, and quality of life of borderlanders? We know, that’s too much common sense. But Congress should at least not put up with DHS shrugging off the law.
_A new low. Trump continues to orchestrate a manufactured crisis at the border to justify building his vanity wall. Tear gassing women, and their children, who are only seeking to protect their families, is beyond the pale and contrary to our values of welcoming people who are fleeing violence. While we know tear gas was used at the border under the Obama administration, this is the first time it has been used against children or shot into Mexico from the U.S. side. SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of American Friends Service Committee witnessed the event and noted that there was no advance warning from Border Patrol before it shot tear gas canisters into Mexico. We’ve said this before, but_seriously_we are so much better than this.
_Out of sight, out of mind? We hope not, but as per usual, the government does a great job of hiding immigrants in detention in remote, rural locations, including children, to avoid public scrutiny and continue to hold people in unhealthy and overly restrictive conditions. Haven’t we learned something from our history?
_Deadline, Dec. 7. Next Friday, the DHS spending budget will expire. While the Republicans and Democrats bicker over this funding and debate whether or not to give Trump between $1.6 billion to $5 billion for border wall funding, we’re urging to call your elected officials and tell them that even $1.6 billion is too much! This lesser amount could result in the complete walling off of the three counties in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and it could interfere with the livelihood of locals who rely on the region’s ecotourism to make a living. Now more than ever, we need your help in urging congressional members to stand strong against any more border wall spending. Tell them #WallsDontWork and to #RevitalizeNotMilitarize our border communities.
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 Vicki@alliancesd.org, by Wednesday COB.