Heads up: we’re taking Independence Day weekend off_that means no border_lines on Friday, July 5th.
_Trump's threats of mass deportation would not only terrorize and create chaos in our communities, as noted by SBCC steering committee member Lilian Serrano of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, it would rip apart families and become part of the pattern of cruelty that has become a hallmark of this administration.
_SBCC steering committee member Joanna Williams, and yours truly, were quoted in this story about how CBP has dragged its feet and failed to carry out urgently needed reforms recommended by best policing practices organizations.
_SBCC steering committee member Nia Rucker from the ACLU of New Mexico had these choice words to say about We Build the Wall, a privately funded anti-immigrant organization that built a piece of wall on the border in New Mexico, “This kind of behavior has no place in New Mexico, and it’s time to stand up to these out-of-state anti-immigrant bullies that have run roughshod over our border communities these past months.”
_There were so many fine points made by former Border Patrol Agent Jenn Budd in this Open Letter to her colleagues, but we’ll give you just one morsel intended to encourage you to read the rest: "Let them know that this is a humanitarian crisis created by this administration and that you have no intention of being held responsible for it."
_Don’t believe the lies: this recent report by Syracuse University proves that most families seeking asylum show up for their court dates after being released.
_Concentration camps? There’s been much public debate about whether or not the facilities CBP and ICE use to hold single adults, families, and children who migrated to our country should be called “concentration camps.” The definition of a concentration camp is “a place where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities.” The term “concentration camp” is strongly associated with the Holocaust in World War II that resulted in the death of 6 million Jews and millions of other people, including Soviets, Romani, Basque, Serb civilians, gay men, and Germans with disabilities. Recent investigations and news stories have shown how both ICE and CBP detain people in overcrowded facilities and in hazardous conditions without adequate medical care, where children aren’t even getting soap to clean up and are forced to sleep on the floor, and that six children have died in U.S. custody. The government also recently opened Fort Sill to hold migrant children_which is the same place U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were held in World War II. Is it thus an apt description? What do you think? Are these facilities concentration camps? Tell us here. And feel free to share the link with others.
_Feeding the monster. This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed, 30-1, a Fiscal Year 2019 supplemental bill that, if passed by the House and signed into law, will add a total of $4.6 billion to the coffers of the Departments of Justice, Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services, with $2.8 billion of the total going to Health and Human Services. Here is a summary of the Senate bill, along with our statement in response. Possibly as early as Tuesday, June 25, the House will hold a floor vote on their own version of the supplemental funding bill that may be less problematic than the Senate version. Just so you know, we have a couple of questions about this supplemental. If Homeland Security is so broke, where are they getting the money to implement the raids the President is threatening will happen next week? If it’s really about providing humanitarian assistance, why is there $155 million allocated to U.S. Marshals? The only possible use U.S. Marshal’s might have for those funds would be to increase prosecutions of, um, people fleeing violence or seeking a better life. Why are they funding more beds to detain migrants at military facilities, including children, or at ICE instead of funding alternatives to detention? Why are they encouraging the use of non-licensed, non-compliant CBP facilities (i.e., that don’t meet the Flores agreement and hold children longer)? But, the bigger question is how are they spending money already in their already over-bloated budget? Humanitarian aid should mean humanitarian aid. We joined more than 200 organizations in opposing the negative provisions of the supplemental. Frankly, we need a #NewBorderVision that invests in communities, not enforcement-only policies.
_Keeping up the good fight. This week, oral arguments were heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on our preliminary injunction on border wall construction that we filed with the ACLU and the Sierra Club. While the court seemed split, we are hopeful they will rule in favor of our injunction. This video illustrates the wildlife refuges that would be devastated by Trump’s wall and why we continue to fight it. The court might make a decision as early as this weekend. Hate builds a wall, but love will tear it down.
_No More $$. So while Congress is debating on whether or not to give federal agencies more money for this fiscal year, the debate about the fiscal year 2020, which starts Oct. 1, is starting to literally get heated. Please help us avoid last year’s nightmare and urge your congressional members to cut funding for anti-immigrant measures implemented by Trump’s cruel deportation force and to increase funding for a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to the families and children seeking protections at our southern border. It’s time for a #NewBorderVision.
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.