_Our heartfelt condolences go to the family of the 7-year-old girl from India who was found dead in the Arizona desert; frankly, we need to do better than to funnel people to their death by building more walls.
_Our very own communications director, Hiram Soto, was quoted in this story about how U.S. citizens in San Diego are moving to the Mexican side of the border because they can’t afford to live in San Diego.
_SBCC steering committee member Joanna Williams of Kino Border Institute notes how SCOTUS could help prevent deaths by ruling favorably in a case that will determine if the family of loved ones shot and killed by U.S. Border Patrol agents while standing in Mexico have the right to sue.
_More than 11,000 people have been forced to return to Mexico to wait out their asylum hearings ever since Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (aka, Migrant Persecution Protocols) have been implemented, exposing non-Mexican refugees to life-threatening hazards, poverty and violence.
_Crocodile tears. It was a real eye-rolling moment as we watched DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan shed crocodile tears as he testified about the border and the agency’s additional funding needs before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Part of his testimony was related to a supplemental funding request made by the Trump’s administration to address a “crisis”_even though the agency already gets mega taxpayer bucks_all while negotiations for a Fiscal Year budget for 2020 have started. But, getting back to the supplemental, Trump has asked for an additional $4.5 billion for Fiscal Year 2019 funding, including $3.3 billion for Health and Human Services for increased beds for unaccompanied minors and $1.1 billion for Homeland Security. The problem is that DHS can’t really be trusted they will use the additional funds for humanitarian assistance versus more inhumane detention and enforcement (i.e., more of the same). And, anyway, are they already wasting billions on a dangerous and harmful wall? The supplemental will go to markup in the Senate’s Appropriation Committee on Wednesday, June 19; watch it here.
_The crisis is real. As we’ve noted before, Trump’s policies have really been responsible for the crisis we’re witnessing at the border. By using broad strokes that paint migration as a criminal act, the Administration is getting away with treating a whole group of people as less than human. It’s like a Migration Handmaid’s Tale. CBP is cramming people for days in holding cells at ports of entry that have no beds and offer no privacy and Border Patrol is putting them in facilities more akin to dog pounds, at a time of year when the blazing sun in the Southwest is deadly. When they need medical care, they’re treated like felons, irking health care professionals, and_most shocking_a teenage mother was held in custody holding her recently born premature baby. Welcome to America?
_Coerced into Trumpism. Well, that was quite the show, wasn’t it? Trump threatens huge tariffs on Mexican products_a cost that would be passed on to U.S. consumers had it gone into effect_unless Mexico seals its southern border, accepts more people under the “Migrant Persecution Protocols” (aka, Remain in Mexico), and agrees to a regional asylum program, similar to the one the U.S. is negotiating with Guatemala. Trump then drops the tariff threat when Mexico agrees to the first two requests and says they will agree to a regional asylum program if the 6,000 Mexican national guard deployed to the southern Mexican border doesn’t work to bring down the numbers. Trumpism definition: the treatment of people fleeing extraordinary hazards, violence and discrimination with more hazards, violence and discrimination.
_Drawing battle lines. After a 20-hour markup that ended at 6:53 a.m. on June 13, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee passed, 33-24, a proposed Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2500) spending bill that authorizes military spending up to $733 billion. The bill includes a blanket prohibition against the diversion of military funds (for construction, drug interdiction, or any assigned by congress) for the construction of border barriers, as well as language that closes the loophole in emergency declarations to make the diversion possible. The bill also requires CBP to reimburse the military for support at the border, an impact analysis on military readiness when providing this support, and certification that CBP could not effectively contract out this work elsewhere. We hope these provisions remain as the bill weaves its way to the House floor, Senate, and Trump’s desk. When the fight is right. Right?
_Just stop it. Next Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee plans to mark up a ridiculously misguided bill introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham that aims to lock up families with children for 100 days, adds more detention space, and requires asylum seekers to apply for asylum in their home countries. Umm, the bill does nothing to address the reasons why these folks are leaving their home countries and would only notch up the cruelty and inhumane treatment these refugees are experiencing at our border. Please call your senators and tell them to stop it. 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 [email protected], by Wednesday COB.