_We felt deep sadness to learn of the passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings, a man of stalwart integrity and a true social justice champion; he is now “dancing with the angels” and will be sorely missed. Rest in Power.
_SBCC steering committee member Mark Adams of Frontera de Cristo talks about how the border is “a place of encounter and hope” in this story about how communities on both sides of the border see themselves as one.
_Join us in urging DACA recipients to renew their DACA as soon as possible, which is especially important because the Supreme Court will hear arguments related to DACA on Nov. 12; Home is here, peeps.
_Members of Congress sent this letter to highlight the problematic and secretive “tent courts” in Laredo and Brownsville, Texas and called for an investigation and oversight hearings.
_Corroded and corrupt. This week, we learned how Border Patrol agents who abuse kids in their custody are rarely, if ever, held accountable. We also learned about a study that looked at 160 cases of Border Patrol corruption that discovered an alarming link between increased border enforcement and increases in corruption and abuse (i.e., making our communities less safe). Check out the irony. The administration and U.S. Border Patrol also engage in deplorable practices like sending infants back to Mexico to await their immigration hearings and holding a nine-year-old girl in a cell for more than 10 days without providing adequate medical attention after possibly giving the child_and her mother_food poisoning (!!!!). Our policy makers should take heed.
_The future ain’t what it used to be. Our communities are shocked and horrified to witness the rapid construction of Trump’s lethal and despicable border wall in our backyards_many of these structures up to 30-feet high. We couldn’t put it more eloquently than our very own Kevin Bixby of the Southwest Environmental Center, who rightly said, “That is how you cause extinction.” Furthermore, SBCC co-chair Christina Patiño Houle describes how the administration’s deadly policies are causing a tripling of drownings and a 1,000 percent increase of rescues_in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo just since Fiscal Year 2018. We wonder if some elected officials inside the beltway care more about politicking than they do about how policies have become dangerous and lethal to our communities. In all policies, protection of life should be considered paramount.
_Sledgehammer slammer. As the Department of Justice gloated this week about breaking the record for the highest immigration-related prosecutions in Fiscal Year 2019, we recalled what originally prompted members of Congress to pass statutes (e.g., U.S. Code § 1325 Improper entry by alien) that would result in prosecutions of people who were only looking to make a better life for themselves and their families. Immigration law falls in the realm of civil law and simply attempts to control who can enter or leave the country or who can be authorized to work here. But, back in 1929, during a time of similar racist and anti-immigrant sentiment, Coleman Livingston Blaise, a Democratic senator who was widely known as a white supremacist, introduced legislation under a Republican-controlled congress that would result in the criminal prosecutions of hundreds of thousands of people who “improperly” entered the United States. The law_which has been applied sporadically over the decades since it was enacted, was a compromise concocted to satisfy both farmers who needed cheaper migrant labor and white supremacists who wanted to charge an “entrance fee” and subject migrants to humiliating inspections and delousing at our ports of entry. Back in the day, the ACLU unsuccessfully fought the passage of this statute as it was clearly discriminatory. This is the statute, by the way, that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions used to justify a “zero-tolerance” policy that ripped kids from the arms of their parents. It’s also the same statute that some 2020 presidential candidates, notably Julián Castro, would like to see repealed. Understanding its racist origin, we couldn’t agree more.
_Deja Vu All Over Again. So, after Trump vetoed a measure for the second time that would have ended the emergency declaration on the border and the Senate failed for the second time to override the veto, we find ourselves in the untenable position of facing the reckless construction of many more miles of horrendous wall. Creating further angst are Trump’s threats to again hold government workers hostage with another government shutdown unless he gets billions of dollars more for border wall. Help us push back against a ridiculous outcome of Fiscal Year 2020 negotiations by contacting your congressional delegation and telling them enough is enough, cut border militarization, detention and deportation funding (aka #DefundHate), and make a New Border Vision possible. Seriously, #RevitalizeNotMilitarize.
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.