Border Communities Commemorate Border Brutality, Reaffirm Struggle for Justice

  Arizona border communities stand with the families of Jose Gutierrez, Carlos La Madrid and Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez Tucson, AZ: Border residents from Tucson, Arizona are rallying Monday to support the family of Jose Gutierrez who continues to denounce the brutal beating he endured 4 years ago at the hands of 11  Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents at the San Luis Port of Entry as he attempted to cross back into the U.S. to reunite with his family. The case of Jose Gutierrez still has not been resolved and no agent has been held accountable. Continue reading

Sen. Ayotte Seeks Scapegoats, Not Solutions for America’s Broken Immigration System

  New England lawmaker overlooks $26 bn revenue contribution by immigrant workers and calls for increasing the militarization of the US-Mexican border  Washington, DC—In a series of aimless attacks on immigrants, the House and Senate leadership are holding six committee hearings on immigration this week—unusual for any one issue given the Republicans in charge have offered no real solution to our country’s immigration crisis that is tearing apart millions of families, putting immigrant workers at risk of exploitation, and keeping our economy from reaching its full potential. Continue reading

100 Faith, Labor and Community Groups Reject Border Militarization Plan

  To view the PDF version of the letter, click here. To view the joint statement by SBCC, ACLU, and NBC submitted to the Senate Committee, click here. As border, immigration, faith, labor, environmental, privacy, civil rights, and human rights advocates, we write to urge you to oppose S.208, the “Secure the Border First Act.” Instead of contributing to immigration reform, this bill would devastatingly militarize border communities, harm trade and tourism, despoil the environment where tens of millions of northern and southern border residents live, and imperil their privacy through constant, intrusive drone surveillance. Continue reading

100 Faith, Labor and Community Groups Reject Senate Border Militarization Plan

  Southern Border Region: Today, Sen. Johnson will hold a hearing on Securing the Southwest Border in an effort to push the "Secure the Border First Act", a bill almost identical to H.R. 399, which was denounced by 164 organizations through a sign-on letter circulated by the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) and lambasted by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Like H.R. 399, the Senate version continues down the failed path to further militarize border communities, severely damage the environment, and trample on the rights of tens of millions of residents who call border communities home. This bill runs contrary to the reality of border communities, which are safe, diverse, and economically critical to this country. Continue reading

Border Groups Dialogue with Customs and Border Protection Concerning Transparency and Accountability

  Washington, D.C.: This week, Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) and groups advocating for the rights of border communities held dialogues with top-level Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials to ensure that measures aimed at strengthening transparency, accountability, and oversight are on track. Border groups and allies are encouraged that the agency has taken steps towards adopting reforms to enforcement practices based on recommendations from border communities. Continue reading

Border Residents Call on the White House for Full Implementation of Body Worn Cameras

  Southern Border Region: The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC), led by the relentless efforts of border residents and families of victims, have pushed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to recognize the need for meaningful transparency, accountability, and oversight within the nation's largest law enforcement agency. SBCC efforts led to Congressional inquiries, national, and international pressure for reform, the public release of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) report along with the revised Use of Force Manual and now the piloting of the use of body worn cameras. The implementation of body worn cameras is a significant step forward that acknowledges the concerns of the border communities and will be implemented in El Paso, Texas, Seattle and Blaine in Washington, West Palm Beach, Florida, and Detroit. Continue reading

Messaging for H.R. 399: The Secure Our Borders First Act

  Topline Value Messages H.R. 399 is a militarization only-bill that disproportionately impacts tens of millions of families living in the southern border. Residents who call San Diego, Tucson, Las Cruces, El Paso and Brownsville  home deserve the same rights and the same protections under the law as the rest of our nation. Border communities enjoy lower crime rates, are safe, thriving and contribute tremendously to the economic recovery of the United States, in fact 1 out of 24  jobs in the U.S. depend on trade that is generated in the Southern Border. H.R. 399 is more of the same failed policies that have contribute to a bloated, unaccountable and abusive police force along the border. H.R. 399 misses the mark on good government. Accountability and transparency are not partisan issues, they are about good government. Customs and Border Protection as the largest law enforcement agency in the nation must lead by example and  be a professional, accountable and transparent force. H.R. 399 is a threat to our environment, the economy, privacy and civil rights. Continue reading

The Secure our Borders First Act: Impact of HR 399 on our Communities

  The Secure our Borders First Act: Impact of HR 399 on our Communities The “Secure Our Borders First Act” was introduced by Rep. McCaul (R-TX) on January 16, 2015. The bill prescribes how Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is to secure the border, enforces penalties if the agency fails to meet the terms of the bill (restricting travel, pay bonuses, and promotions of agents), and costs the taxpayers $10 billion. The bill raises significant concerns detailed below.   Continue reading

Border Communities Reject McCaul's HR 399

  Bill will turn border communities into theatres of war Southern Border Region: Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security will be marking up H.R. 399, the Secure Our Border First Act of 2015, a militarization-only bill that will direct equipment meant for "theaters of war" to be deployed into southern border communities. Continue reading

2014 Southern Border Successes

  In March, after the ACLU spoke of use-of-force deaths by Customs and Border Protection officials at a review of U.S. human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and hand-delivered a sign-on letter that was endorsed by more than 75 organizations and coalitions (including SBCC), the U.N. Human Rights Committee demanded in its final observations that the U.S. government improve reporting and conduct effective investigations of excessive use-of-force cases by CBP officials at the U.S.-Mexico border. Continue reading

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