_It’s crazy-tunes how the Trump administration considers inanimate objects more valuable than life as it deploys CBP and ICE to guard statues of traitors and exploiters instead of deploying healthcare workers to treat and trace COVID-19, which has disproportionately taken the lives of communities of color.
_This story about Trump’s dismantling of our asylum system puts a human face on how this nation has lost its moral compass by failing to protect the most vulnerable.
_If failing to contain the pandemic wasn’t enough for the Trump administration, ICE has been shamelessly spreading COVID-19 to hundreds of countries throughout the world.
_For those of us who don’t want to celebrate freedom until all of us are free, it was powerful this holiday weekend to see sky-high art with poignant messages against CBP’s and ICE’s cruel detention practices. Soy nube de esperanza.
_Please consider making a donation to the Black Immigrants Bail Fund, a project by the Haitian Bridge Alliance and ABISA, that aims to free black immigrants from detention to pursue immigration relief in the safety of community and family.
_Bounced check. Trump might think he can go around Congress with a blank check to build his lethal, racist border wall, but this week several House Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations subcommittees are proposing to make that check bounce. On July 7, the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security approved a FY2021 spending bill that: (1) provides no funding for border wall (2) allocates $75 million to mitigate environmental damage caused by the border wall; and (3) rescinds $1.374 billion from the fiscal year 2020 Procurement, Construction, and Improvements account in response to the President’s diversion of Department of Defense funding for border barrier construction. In addition, on July 8, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense approved a spending bill for fiscal 2021 that would reverse President Trump’s move earlier this year to take $3.8 billion from weapons programs and other Pentagon accounts to use on his border wall. The bill requires the Pentagon to put the money it transferred back into its original accounts if it hasn’t been spent by the time the bill is enacted. And, get this, on July 9, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veteran Affairs and Related Agencies approved a FY2021 spending bill that would prohibit military construction funding_appropriated since Fiscal Year 2016_from being used on border wall construction and infrastructure on the southern border. Next week, these spending bills will go to the full Appropriations Committee for markup. Gotta admit, we sure are grateful to the House appropriators for calling BS on Trump’s pilfering of funds to continue building this costly and damaging campaign prop. This money can be better spent on handling the current COVID-19 crisis and investing in our communities. #DefundHate
_No wall-flowers. We’re no wall-flowers when it comes to Trump’s egotistical march to build his vanity border wall across our prized borderlands. South Texas residents protested and landowners filed a lawsuit accusing the administration of building a wall driven by politics and racial discrimination_thus making it unconstitutional. At the other end of the border, near San Diego, the Kumeyaay_whose land is bisected by the U.S.-Mexico border_protested the potential destruction of their cultural heritage and sacred artifacts (story quotes SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee); they were able to get a temporary win, although Border Patrol still threatens to blow up the sacred burial grounds at any time. In Arizona, residents were dismayed that_despite more than 7,000 public comments in opposition to the wall and a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that diverting $2.5 billion Congress appropriated for the military was unlawful_CBP still announced the closure of this beloved Arizona Trail for border wall construction and is going ahead with construction that would block the San Pedro river_the last free flowing river in Arizona. We’re not going to give up. On the bright side: a privately funded and built section of wall in the Rio Grande Valley is in danger of collapsing because it was built too close to the banks of the Rio Grande. We seem to remember warning these yahoos that this would happen in our Nov. 22, 2019 issue. #NatureFightsBack #NoBorderWall
_Run over and deport. Only after a request for information did Border Patrol admit that one of its agents “inadvertently” ran over a Mexican national near the Ysleta port of entry in El Paso, Texas, and then quickly deported him. Even more disturbing_as SBCC ally Astrid Dominguez of the ACLU Border Rights Center rightly notes_is that CBP is claiming that the incident is under investigation. How can that be so, if the person has been deported? This incident happened shortly after seven people were killed as the result of a Border Patrol high-speed car chase in El Paso, Texas. It is time to ban CBP enforcement tactics that place people at risk of injury and death and to hold agents accountable. We need a #New Border Vision.
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 Vicki@alliancesd.org, by Wednesday COB. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.