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Border Patrol’s Shadow Immigration System

By Jenn Budd, The Border Patrol has been violating our nation’s immigration and human rights laws for decades, but what is happening today is so egregious and blatantly illegal that it’s mind-boggling just to try to wrap your head around it. That’s saying a lot when you consider the massive culture of corruption at both the Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which have a well-documented track record of death and abuse across the southern border and beyond. Since March 20th, CBP and Border Patrol have been operating a shadow immigration system that few in the media are willing to discuss. It is a system of nothing: no asylum, no refugees, no credible fear hearings, no child sponsorships, no hearings before immigration judges, no oversight, no accountability.  Continue reading
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SBCC and Partners Call for Border Wall Construction End

Harmful, deadly and wasteful border wall doesn’t make us safer, but it does destroy wildlife and sacred lands, lead to horrific disappearances and deaths, and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars. Now, the current administration has used the COVID-19 pandemic to push forward on border wall construction, waving critical environmental protections while disregarding Covid-19 social distancing guidelines.  Continue reading
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Four Presidents and a Wall

By Vicki B. Gaubeca Bull-dozing sacred burial sites. Destroying delicate wildlife. Siphoning billions of dollars from other programs to build dangerous and deadly border walls. President Donald Trump’s actions in the year since he declared a national emergency in a cash grab for wall funds — a state of emergency which he recently extended — seem like they’re out of dystopian novel, or the actions of a dastardly villain in a movie.  Continue reading
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Chief Provost’s Legacy: Lies, Death and Dishonor

By Jenn Budd Former Senior Border Patrol Agent US Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost has announced her long overdue retirement from the agency. She opined that she would like all of us to stop playing politics and come together on immigration. She demands we come over to her side, the side that separates families and treats asylum seekers as criminals. The side that ignores the cries of children in Border Patrol custody who are forced to sit in their own feces for days. The side that through its intentional neglect, has resulted in more in-custody deaths for which the agency has refused to accept any responsibility.  Continue reading
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The Scott Warren Retrial is a Travesty of Justice

By Jenn Budd Former Senior Border Patrol Agent Customs and Border Protection has extraordinary powers. Unlike other federal agencies, they assert the right to stop, interrogate and detain people without probable cause or warrants. These abusive powers have made Border Patrol agents feel justified in doing whatever it takes to make their cases in court. Whether it is falsifying dates on legal government documents or using pre-written narratives in defiance of the facts, agents have long gotten away with misleading the courts. I saw this myself as an agent, and I am seeing it still today. Continue reading
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Poll Shows Voters Have a ‘Crisis of Confidence’ in Trump’s Border Policies

A new poll of registered voters across the four southern border states reveals a “crisis of confidence” in Trump’s border and immigration policies. The poll asked voters whether they approve or disapprove of the president’s policies, how much they trust border agents, how we should treat asylum-seekers, and whether we should provide aid to those in distress, among other things. Continue reading
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25 Years Later, Operation Gatekeeper’s Legacy is One Best Left Behind

By Vicki B. Gaubeca Border Patrol checkpoints — far from the actual border — that threaten the civil liberties of millions and lead to the detention of U.S. citizens.  Unconstitutional, illegal cash grabs to build massive, senseless border walls, taking money away from  schools and daycare programs for children of military, with complete disregard to the impact on wildlife, people or local communities.  Unaccountable border agents who act like a paramilitary force, and treat migrant children and families like like a threat, rather than vulnerable people seeking protection and safety. While many of these blunt-force enforcement tactics have gained notoriety under the Trump administration, all of them have their roots in Operation Gatekeeper, a program which began 25 years ago this October 1. Continue reading
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Border Patrol Agents Are Soldiers in Trump’s Racist, Anti-Immigrant War

By Jenn Budd Former Senior Border Patrol Agent I arrived in El Paso, Texas the day before I was to speak at Reverend Barber's Moral Monday at the Borderlands just one week before the deadly shooting. My first stop was to visit the infamous “dog pound,” an outdoor cage that held men seeking asylum in the hot Texas sun for weeks at a time. I had recently received a picture of families with small children being held in this same cage, languishing in the heat, sitting on the dirt and rocks. I had to see it for myself, but I was too late. Continue reading
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The ‘Back to School’ ICE Raids That Broke our Hearts

By Jenn Budd Former Senior Border Patrol Agent That first day of school, whether you were excited or full of dread, was an event to remember for all of us. New clothes, teachers and friends, maybe even new schools. It didn’t matter how you felt about it, everyone experienced it. Odds are that you ended up that evening in the same stores as many of your new classmates. Sharpies, binders, pens, pencils, calendars. Today maybe it’s thumb drives and laptops, but the experience is the same. In every city, county and state, whether you are in kindergarten or college, white or brown, rich or poor, we all have that first day of school. Continue reading
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Expedited Removals = Birtherism 2.0

By Jenn Budd Former Senior Border Patrol Agent With the expansion of the expedited removals that allow anyone, anywhere in the United States to be questioned, detained and immediately deported by immigration authorities, we now have a better idea of what an American police state looks like. Those who encounter an immigration officer must be able to produce proof right then and there that they’ve been in the country for two years or more legally, or they will be deported to whatever country agents believe they were born in. Continue reading
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