Cruelty du jour

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_This week we joined more than 230 organizations across the country to tell Congress to defund CBP and ICE in 2020, stop the budget reprogramming and transfer abuses of DHS, end the cruel “Remain in Mexico” program, and place strong oversight and accountability measures on how we treat people in immigration custody. 

_Must read from our allies at United We Dream: Want to protect immigrant rights? Cut the Pentagon budget. Word.

_SBCC steering committee member Amanda Munro of the Southwest Environmental Center speaks of how Trump’s deadly wall built through the Organ Pipe National Monument in Arizona will cause irreparable harms and a “national tragedy.” 

_Join the Southern Arizona community and the Center for Biological Diversity Friday, Sept. 27 at 4:30 pm to protest DHS’s plans to build a border wall across the San Pedro River by RSVPing with Kate Scott ([email protected]) or Laiken Jordan ([email protected]).

_Stay tuned as we gear up for a somber, border-wide observation on October 1 for the 25th anniversary of Border Patrol’s Operation Gatekeeper, which resulted in the death and disappearance of thousands of migrants in the Southern Border and eroded our quality of life.

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_Cruelty du jour. There doesn’t seem to be an end to the iterations of cruel policies_and related misspent taxpayer dollars_that come down from this administration. Per the perspective of our SBCC ambassador, Jenn Budd, U.S. border patrol agents have become soldiers in Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant war. In addition_and alarmingly_ICE has also announced their intent to build an “urban warfare” facility in Georgia with Arizona-style and Chicago-style “hyper-realistic” cities that include "residential houses, apartments, hotels, government facilities and commercial buildings." Wait, what? How are U.S. communities under the crosshairs of the government? Darkening an even darker heart was Trump’s proclamation against Bahamians after Hurricane Dorian, where he single-handedly defended not letting people into our country by characterizing_with a broad racist paint-brush_people fleeing the hurricane devastation as being “bad people.” Ugh. Further reinforcement of this cruelty came when it was reported that the administration wouldn’t even consider offering Temporary Protected Status to Bahamians trying to put their lives back together after the hurricane flattened their homes and communities. But perhaps the darkest news was when a young Bahamian girl was severely traumatized by family separation that only offered more trauma to the parents that wanted to reunite with her. We also read more distressing news about how Border Patrol treats people in their custody. We have to be better than this, no?

_Punch in the gut. We really lost our breath when the Supreme Court announced this week that it is upholding Trump's rule that could deny due process to asylum seekers from other countries outside of Mexico or Canada. We agreed with the reactions to this news from our ally Justice for Our Neighbors Melissa Bowe who said, in part: “We know the human impact of this ruling will be immeasurable and we fear the chaos it will reap on our well-established asylum laws and traditions...These are people who have risked everything. Many have lost everything...except for faith and hope. We have the ability to help and we have the moral duty to help.” SBCC ally Church World Service President and CEO Rev. John L. McCullough also said, in part, “It is clear that this administration does not consider moral or legal obligations when making decisions. It is time for Congress to step in and hold the administration accountable to terminate the asylum ban.”

_Some good news. After a request from New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and New York Senator Chuck Schumer (thank you senators!), the U.S. Government Accountability Office is launching an investigation into the administration’s plans to take land away from private landowners through eminent domain laws to build his harmful and lethal border wall. To get why even more miles of border wall are so harmful, read this poignant OpEd about what a wall will do to Oquibaquito Springs in Arizona, literally destroying a cultural and environmental heritage site that has existed in our region since the beginning of time. Meanwhile, during the negotiations for a new Fiscal Year 2020 spending budget_that will likely result in a stop-gap measure to avoid a government shutdown_the administration persists on asking for more money for more of his vanity wall. Enough already. Even the Air Force has filed a report showing the detrimental effects on military readiness by Trump’s $3.6 billion money grab from defense funds to pay for 175 miles of border wall.


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.


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