Bad Medicine - May 11, 2018 border_lines


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_Let’s make it happen: New York Sen. Gillibrand introduced a bill, co-sponsored by New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, that requires Border Patrol to track better data on when, where and who they stop for questioning inside the United States within the 100-mile border zone.

_DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will provide testimony to a U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing, “Authorities and Resources Needed to Protect and Secure the United States,” on Tuesday, May 15, 2:30 p.m. ET, in SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building.

_"Toncs at the barn" and other super offensive Border Patrol text messages were revealed during the federal court proceedings against No More Deaths volunteer Scott Warren for allegedly participating in human smuggling when he provided humanitarian assistance to two Central Americans near the border.

_Join us at the “All Against the Wall” protest, Saturday, June 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. and feel free to email Sonya Kumpuckal at our member organization Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC) for more information.

_Join the 75-mile Migrant Trail 2018 walk from Sasabe, Sonora to Tucson, Arizona, May 28-June 3rd by registering here.


_Bad medicine. Trump’s cronies were in true form this week delivering harsh, anti-immigrant rhetoric and plenty of hateful, bad medicine. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to Scottsdale, AZ, and San Diego, CA, and announced plans to prosecute “all people” who crossed the border without inspection_ even if they might be asylum seekers. For a guy who is all about “law and order,” why is he suggesting breaking U.S. domestic laws on asylum?  SBCC Co-chair Andrea Guerrero responded by saying, Threatening to prosecute and incarcerate migrants, including parents of children, is neither a practical nor a humane response to people who may be seeking refuge or who may not have a line to stand in to apply for legal status. An enforcement-first and enforcement-only approach is not the answer. It does not reflect our values of inclusion and compassion and does nothing to address an outdated and insufficient immigration system.” Not ironically, an Arizona federal judge suggested the impracticality of the proposal by noting that courts were already at capacity and unable to add more border crosser cases.

_Hatred bolus. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen delivered some doozy statements during the Senate Appropriations hearing (forward to around 1:06), suggesting that a good solution would be to do away with the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and eliminate case law, like the Flores settlement (which prohibits jailing children) and Zadvydas case decision (which prevents indefinite detention of immigrants). Really? Why not just remove all constitutional protections while we’re at it? She also reiterated Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ message that DHS will separate parents from their children to refer them for prosecution if these families cross the border illegally and said those seeking asylum should do so at the ports of entry. Can you get any sicker than that?

_Possible overdose of hate? White House Chief of Staff John Kelly clearly showed the racists roots of Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, when in an NPR interview he said, “Let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into the United States are not bad people. They're not criminals. They're not MS-13... But they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They're overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don't speak English; obviously that's a big thing ...They don't integrate well; they don't have skills. They're not bad people. They're coming here for a reason. And I sympathize with the reason. But the laws are the laws. …” Those comments are straight out of the xenophobic play books, no?

_A placebo loophole? After New Mexico Doña Ana County Sheriff Kiki Vigil asserted to county commissioners that his department does not enforce federal immigration laws even under a federal grant program called Operation Stonegarden, a local writer was surprised to find that the department did hand over about 600 people to Border Patrol, between Oct. 2016 and Sept. 2017, which was clearly after a “Safe Communities for All” resolution had passed prohibiting this practice. In a follow-up commissioner’s meeting, the Sheriff responded to this criticism by saying that the problem was the way the reports used the word “referrals” and insisted his deputies are enforcing drug laws and not federal immigration laws. SBCC Co-chair Johana Bencomo of CAFe disputed this, "You can longer simply accept the response that these arrests are drug-traffic related. This response begs another set of questions — questions that you should be asking." Others expressing concerns included SBCC steering committee member Jorge Rodriguez of the ACLU Border Rights Center. We wonder how many other police are guilty of these terminological inexactitudes.

_Needing a cure. The Trump administration is using bogus and incorrect statistics to justify family separation at the border. Please give a call to your congressional member this week and tell them to  #KeepFamiliesTogether. #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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