‘Border Lens’ Combines Data and Stories About the Southern Border Region

By Gustavo Lopez From the California coasts to the Gulf shores of Texas, the southern border is home to one of the most dynamic regions in the country. The region is diverse and growing, is home to incredible biodiversity, and acts as an economic engine for the nation. At the same time, our region is a militarized zone where rogue federal agents threaten our rights and quality of life on a daily basis. Stories of migration and divisive walls dominate national headlines about the border region. For this reason, the Southern Border Communities Coalition — a network of organizations spanning the length of the southern border — is launching a new data portal that tells the stories of border communities through real-time data, testimonials, and research. Continue reading


Watch as we discuss the deployment of border agents across the country as they continue to escalate and use of force against protesters in Portland and other places. The deployment of these unaccountable border agents is offering the country a glimpse of what border communities have been experiencing for decades: a hyper-militarized agency in Customs and Border Protection with a long track record of death and abuse, a culture of impunity and a complete and total lack of transparency.

Border Patrol Deleted This Tweet Of Heavily Armed Agents Posing at a George Floyd Vigil

San Diego Border Patrol Sector Chief Aaron M. Heitke tweeted a photo on June 1st from his official twitter account. The photo was of Border Patrol in full tactical gear, holding weapons while standing over a community altar from a peaceful vigil in remembrance of George Floyd and other victims of police brutality in San Diego, CA. What the photo didn’t show, however was that these agents were posing for a photo-op in the aftermath of officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the peaceful crowd.  In the now-deleted tweet, Sector Chief Heitke claimed that they were protecting police from “lawless rioting & other criminal activities.” However, the photo of border patrol agents smiling with guns and military-grade equipment, standing with local police atop the remains of the all but destroyed altar paints a drastically different picture, one that falls in line with CBP’s culture of abuse and lack of accountability.  Sector Chief Heitke may have deleted his tweet, but we see CBP’s true colors — and we have the screenshots to prove it. We won’t let CBP, Border Patrol and law enforcement continue to go unchecked and not held accountable for their abuse and excessive use of force. All across the country CBP has been deployed to surveil and police peaceful protestors. CBP is the largest law enforcement agency in the country who claim unprecedented powers that they believe allow them to violate 4th amendment protections in certain circumstances. They believe they are untouchable, and their culture of accountability and cruelty must be revealed for what it is. 

Border Patrol’s Dream of Becoming a National Police Force is Becoming a Reality

By Jenn Budd The United States Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), have long wanted to become a national police force. This week, they took a dangerous step closer to realizing that vision. As Acting Secretary of CBP Mark Morgan was tweeting about deploying these unaccountable agents across the country to clamp down on people protesting the killing of George Floyd, immigration agents were already deployed in the streets of Washington DC, San Diego and El Paso. This after a CBP predator drone flew over protester in Minneapolis last week. Continue reading

Border Patrol Gloating On Twitter About Being Deployed to Clamp Down on Protesters

By Yesenia Padilla As communities across the country take to the streets to protest unjust policing practices, police brutality and the murder of George Floyd, Border Patrol agents are being deployed nationwide to clamp down on protesters.  Continue reading

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

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

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

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

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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