Churches Cross International Borders To Help Migrants

  The immigration crises in Europe and in the American Southwest have inspired powerful, polarized reactions. In this country, we’ve seen increased deportations and a groundswell of support for more fences and walls on the border. In Europe, borders have been closing, and anti-immigrant backlash has been building. There’s no easy solution to the suffering of refugees and the economic plight of many undocumented immigrants. But on both continents, some people see it as their duty to help these needy populations. This is the story of two churches trying to work together half a world apart. Marta Bernardini was walking a few feet from the tall, rusted wall that separates Nogales, Arizona, from Nogales, Mexico. But she doesn’t like to look at it. “We want to separate the people and say we are better than you,” she said, describing the feeling she believes the wall emits. “Because we are in the right side of the wall, the rich part of the wall, and you are in the poor part.” Bernardini was on the Mexican side that morning. She’s used to these kinds of divisions, just not man-made ones. Her home is on Lampedusa, an Italian island where the border is the rough, churning ocean. She’s a social worker there for migrants on behalf of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy. Now, she’s nearing the end of four months spent on these borderlands as she learns how people are helping migrants here. Continue reading

Court orders new trial for Customs and Border Protection officer convicted in Alton murder

  By Associated Press Houston — A former Customs and Border Protection officer in South Texas has won an appeal that overturns his murder conviction and 25-year prison sentence for the fatal shooting of a bar owner. A divided Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Wednesday that 37-year-old ex-agent Jose Guadalupe Elizondo is entitled to a new trial because a part of the instructions to jurors at his 2011 trial in Edinburg was improper. The court's 5-4 ruling reverses a lower appeals court decision that affirmed Elizondo's conviction. Continue reading

Otra vez... Arizona

  By Christian Ramirez Arizona se convierte, por enésima vez, en escenario de conductas vergonzantes. Y es que el gobierno del estado vecino, no conforme con su siniestro legado de racismo e intolerancia, continúa en su afán de suprimir cualquier indicio de democracia en esa entidad fronteriza. Durante el proceso electoral que se llevó acabo en el estado del Gran Cañón, se registraron todo tipo de irregularidades: número reducido de casillas, inmensas filas, errores, purga de votantes, falta de información. Todo esto orquestado por el gobierno de ultra-derecha en Arizona, que de manera deliberada, violentó el derecho a votar para miles de sus ciudadanos. Irónicamente, el mismo día que los arizonianos esperaban hasta siete horas para votar, el presidente Obama daba una cátedra de democracia al pueblo de Cuba. Es evidente que funcionarios electorales de Arizona, como Helen Purcell, hicieron caso omiso al discurso de Obama en La Habana. Ya que Purcell, encargada del proceso del registro electoral en el condado de Maricopa, el más poblado de Arizona, hizo todo lo posible por desalentar la participación de la ciudadanía en los comicios. Durante las elecciones primarias de 2012, el condado de Maricopa contaba con 200 casillas. En 2016, el número de casillas se redujo —por orden de Purcell— a 60 casillas. Lo que significó que cada casilla recibiría a un promedio de 20 mil electores, situación que ocasionó inmensas demoras para que los ciudadanos depositaran sus votos en las urnas. Continue reading

New U.S. Customs Electronic-Filing System Causes Delays at Borders

  By Erica Phillips A new electronic customs system is off to a rocky start, with some shippers reporting their goods held up at the U.S. border for hours. The technology, which the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection began phasing in on Thursday, is supposed to automate the filing of customs forms and transmit data gathered from shippers to nearly 50 government agencies. Continue reading

New York Times Editorial Board: The Border Patrol’s Bizarre Choice

  By New York Times Editorial Board Turn away, for a moment, from the generalized idiocy of the presidential campaign to consider a specific instance of monumental dimness. It happened Wednesday. Continue reading

How One Man Is Hoping To End The U.S. Border Protection Agency’s ‘Culture Of Impunity’

  By Esther Yu Hsi Lee WASHINGTON, D.C. — Six years ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents beat, discharged a taser, and killed Anastasio Hernández Rojas, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, as he faced removal from the United States at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in California. At the time, Hernández Rojas had re-entered the country likely to reunite with his five U.S.-based children. Continue reading

Family Seeks Justice At Human Rights Panel For Man Who Died After Border Patrol Altercation

By Elise Foley WASHINGTON — Bernardo Hernández Rojas’ brother, Anastasio, died in 2010 after border patrol agents used a Taser on him and struck him with a baton repeatedly as he cried out for help — caught on tape by witnesses — and took him into custody for crossing the border illegally from Mexico. His family’s efforts to get justice for his death have been unsuccessful. Their civil suit has been pending for years and in November, the Department of Justiceclosed its investigation without pursuing federal charges against any of the agents involved. Continue reading

Clinic Files Petition Claiming Human Rights Abuses by U.S. Customs and Border Protection

  By Susan GlussA nearly six-year legal battle for justice took a new turn today (March 30) as the International Human Rights Law Clinic filed a petition against the United States for the death of a Mexican national by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The complaint, filed with co-counsel Alliance San Diego before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, calls for an investigation into the killing and a condemnation of U.S. actions. Continue reading

Family to file petition in DC in 2010 border death

  The family of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas will file a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. By Tatiana Sanchez The family of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a San Diego man who died following a confrontation with Border Patrol agents in San Ysidro, will file a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C. Continue reading

LA Times: Family asks human rights panel for help in San Diego border death

  By Brian Bennett and Joseph Tanfani The family of a Mexican man who died after he was shocked with a Taser and hit by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents has asked an international panel to consider whether his human rights were violated. The family of Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas, who died of a heart attack days after a confrontation at the San Ysidro border station in San Diego in May 2010, has asked the Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the human rights record of U.S. border agents and customs officers. Continue reading

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