_Border wall construction is a colossal waste of taxpayer’s dollars and deadly to our communities and wildlife, but even its design is stupidly faulty, like the one where it lights up the desert, interfering with CBP’s ability to see people crossing.
_This former Border Patrol agent shed more light on the disturbing culture of violence at CBP when he pled guilty to choking and shaking a person seeking entry into the United States.
_Read the perspective of a 13-year-old who witnessed the damage wrought by the hardenedhearts of policymakers at the border as part of a visit led by SBCC steering committee member Mark Adams of Frontera de Cristo.
_A new graphic nonfiction by a “libertarian economist” explores the case for open borders, suggesting it would be both ethical and good for the economy.
_Buh-bye Constitution. This Administration is waiving away so many laws and disrupting our democratic balance of powers so much that it makes us wonder whether or not this White House wants to wave good-bye to our Constitution. The latest Trump announcement was a waiver of federal procurement laws (a first!) to speed up the construction of border barriers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The ten statutes and regulations waived include requirements for open competition and justifying selections. After doing the same to more than 50 other laws that protect us from government overreach, which have allowed the Administration to blast away ancient and sacred burial sites and to fast-track the extinction of endangered and protected species, waiving these procurement laws just adds another layer of “insult to injury” (as noted by yours truly). We guess nothing trumps the Constitution . . . except Trump?
_Martial Law Incubator? ICYMI, a version of the brazen and militarized attacks against border communities is soon coming to a neighborhood near you. Which is seriously troubling. Over the last three decades, as we witnessed the ever-increasing militarization of our border communities and the concomitant erosion of our constitutional rights, we remember thinking that our homes had become an incubator for martial law practices and worried about what it would mean for the nation as a whole. Military-like operations, such as Operation Gatekeeper, and surveillance technologies developed in the theater of wars, like thermal cameras and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become the order of the day not just here, but everywhere. And as a three-way symbiosis developed among CBP (and ICE), the military, and local law enforcement, we wondered just how bad it might get. In fact, CBP has become one of the largest recipients of military hand-me-downs through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program. See, for example, the latest quarterly report of CBP’s 1033 acquisitions, which shows that the Chula Vista, California Border Patrol station received 100 sniper rifles and bipods. Exactly, what will these be used for? Be woke, friends. Be woke.
_The Constitution Applies Here. A Bush-appointed Arizona federal judge found that the heinous conditions of confinement in Border Patrol’s holding cells_such as their practice of forcing detainees, including children, to sleep standing or on the floor near toilets in overcrowded cells_was unconstitutional. Well, yes! We hope Border Patrol cleans up its act and applies constitutionally required conditions of confinement nationwide, like providing “basic human needs for sleeping in a bed with a blanket, a shower, food that meets acceptable dietary standards, potable water, and medical assessment performed by a medical professional." This should be the least we can do for children and families seeking safety at our nation’s doorstep.
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 [email protected], by Wednesday COB. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.