Absolute Power Corrupts

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__A pregnant 19-year-old Guatemalan woman and her unborn child tragically died as she tried to climb Trump’s vanity wall near El Paso, Texas. 

_A big shout out goes to the groups that protested the Border Security Expo in San Antonio, Texas, this week; we don’t need our homes militarized any further. 

_In a horrible miscarriage of justice, the Supreme Court blocked a federal injunction that would have halted the cruel and inhumane Remain in Mexico (MPP) program in California and Arizona. 

_SBCC ambassador and former senior border patrol agent Jenn Budd criticizes the involvement of U.S. troops in the surveillance, tracking, or chasing and arrest of migrants at our southern border.

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_Absolute power corrupts. Prompted by the news that Trump was deploying SWAT-like Border Patrol Tactical (BORTAC) units and ICE special forces to sanctuary cities for immigration enforcement, we held a webinar this week to inform people about the powers the Department of Homeland Security claims to have within the 100-mile border zone, how BORTAC units are being deployed across the country, and what communities can do about it. Trump’s deployment of BORTAC is another example of the fungibility of resources that Trump can seemingly access to use however he sees fit to attack any entity that doesn’t agree with his policies, such as those cities his administration perceives to be sanctuary cities. This intimidation tactic has the potential to have a tremendously chilling effect on our communities and families nationwide, particularly in light of the tactics and powers the Trump administration could potentially employ in response to something like the coronavirus crisis. This is why it’s crucial for communities to come together to tell the administration enough is enough. It’s time to re-think borders. We’ve put together these resources to help.

_Getting real. As the coronavirus spreads, our reaction to it is getting real, to say the least. As it should be. Officials are cancelling large public events, organizations are discouraging non-essential travel, schools are closing, and even the nation’s capitol has been shut down to all but members and staff. And while some folks might think this is an overreaction, we think these measures will shut down the spread of the virus more quickly_like the proverbial band aid theory. But shutting down borders, whether it’s the southern one or the European one, is probably the least effective method to stop the spread and can create enormous economic problems. Just look at the stock market, for example. The administration should listen to the more than 800 public health officials who offer these more effective methods for stopping the spread_based on science. Like testing, testing, testing. Now, that’s the real deal.

_Making the case. Our colleagues at the ACLU were once again before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for arguments in our border wall lawsuit, Sierra Club v. Trump, which was brought by the ACLU on behalf of the Sierra Club and SBCC. In short, the suit challenges Trump’s abuse of emergency powers to raid $3.6 billion to build his harmful and dangerous wall that had already been congressionally appropriated to the Pentagon. Despite multiple courts ruling the transfers illegal, the Trump administration announced last month that it would take another $3.8 billion from the Pentagon for the border wall. We joined the ACLU and the Sierra Club in filing a suit to challenge the new, unauthorized transfer. The new case is currently pending before a district court in Oakland, Calif. We hope the courts will put a decisive stop to the desecration of tribal lands and the harms to our communities, environment and wildlife caused by this monstrosity being built in our beautiful borderlands. In the meantime, check out Full Frontal’s sardonic view on the topic featuring some of our strongest community advocates in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Sometimes humor is the best medicine. LOL.


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


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