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_SBCC steering committee member Ricky Garza of the Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP) is quoted in this story about President Biden’s lack of clear direction to U.S. Attorneys on how to proceed on eminent domain cases in South Texas that aim to take private lands to construct more lethal border wall, which has resulted in the continuation of dozens of land condemnation cases along the border. #NotOneMoreFoot
_To put a finer point on the previous one-liner, watch and share this video, posted on Twitter and Facebook, produced by Texas Civil Rights Project and the National Butterfly Center that focuses on President Biden's promise to dismiss all land condemnation suits and not take land; a promise that was broken when a judge granted the Administration possession of land owned by the Cavazos family; land that has been in their family for generations and from which they depended on for making a living. #KeepYourPromise
_SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee notes how the border wall, the concertina wire that is draped across it, and the border agents that guard it form a “monument to racism.”
_SBCC steering committee member Andrea Guerrero of Alliance San Diego describes how the vote, 3-2, of San Diego County Supervisors to endorse the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will help build momentum as the bill heads to the Senate.
_CBP jails are no place for children, so we are encouraged that the number of unaccompanied children held by Border Patrol has dropped by 88 percent because children are being transferred out of CBP custody more quickly.
_We couldn’t agree more with this blog written by the Center for Victims of Torture about the need to eliminate the word “alien” from immigration laws given its dehumanizing effect that serves as a “toxic justification” for racist violence.
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_Bad Policy Kills. The events of this week were a stark reminder of how bad policies have harmful_even deadly_consequences. For almost three decades the U.S. has deployed a strategy of “prevention through deterrence” that is built on the idea that creating hostile, deadly conditions for immigrants arriving at our southern border will stop them from coming. The reality is that these policies won’t_and haven’t_stop people from making this journey, mainly because many are fleeing extreme violence (often provoked by U.S. trade and drug policies) or extreme poverty exacerbated by climate change. While President Biden has begun to wind down the cruel “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP) and has allowed those subjected to the the program to enter the United States to pursue their cases, large numbers of people who were not part of the MPP program are still trapped in Northern Mexican cities, including folks who were put on waiting lists (commonly known as “metering’) and many who are not from the Northern Triangle countries, including Haitians, Brazilians and people from African countries. In addition, while the Administration has rescinded the application of rapid expulsions (i.e., Title 42 expulsions) to children, it has wrongly kept this statute in place for adults. This has forced too many parents into desperate actions like handing over their children to smugglers in the hopes they can access protection and safety in the United States. (Note: this is a new version of family separation.) The policy has also forced people seeking safety to cross in even more dangerous locations. This includes sea crossings as noted by SBCC steering committee member Dulce Garcia of Border Angels, which brought us to the tragedy we witnessed this week where three people died when the boat they were travelling in capsized. These deaths were preceded by the tragic death of a Honduran national who was struck and killed by a Border Patrol vehicle as he hid in tall grass near the Rio Grande. More deaths_including the deaths of thousands of migrants who have died of dehydration and exposure in remote regions of the borderlands_could be prevented if we agreed to pivot our immigration policies away from “deterrence” and “criminalization” and towards developing a rights-respecting, humanitarian welcoming process at ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border. We can be that compassionate nation that creates a better world. We need a #NewBorderVision.
_Heartwarming joys. So, here are some super good, heartwarming moments. Some of the families who were ripped apart under the former administration, like Bryan Chavez and Keldy Mabel Gonzáles Brebe, are now reuniting and rejoining their families in the United States. The joy expressed by these reunions is palpable and tear-inspiring. Talk about warm fuzzies. It still remains incomprehensible that these families were separated under a “zero tolerance” initiative implemented by the former administration that literally ripped children, including infants, from the arms of guardians, mothers and fathers so they could be prosecuted and criminalized for seeking safety and ensuring the wellbeing of their families. Still much work remains; nearly 1,000 of the 5,500 families affected by the zero tolerance policy remain separated. Let’s hope there is an end soon for these family separations and that the healing begins. #FamiliesBelongTogether #WelcomeWithDignity
_History Worth Remembering. To better understand the influence of U.S. policies in Latin America and their role in displacement, forced migration, and more than 8,000 deaths of migrants crossing in remote regions of the border, we invite you to tune in to The Border and Its Bodies: The Embodiment of Risk in the U.S.-México Borderlands, a virtual seminar held by the University of Arizona Southwest Center. The panel discussion, which included Yours Truly, also addressed the health implications on migrants who experience the duress of trauma in their home countries, during their journey to escape violence, and in their expectations of arriving in the “arms of a compassionate nation” only to experience more trauma. Finally, the seminar discusses a New Border Vision that describes a border governance model that expands public safety for all, assures human rights and the protection of life, and creates a welcoming system at the border for both residents and visitors alike. Find additional informative resources here.
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.