Deadly hope

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_SBCC steering committee member Lilian Serrano of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium rightly called Trump’s recent fund-raising visit to Southern California “political opportunism at its worst” (read for other choice quotes).

_The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a strong statement condemning the way we treat migrants and offered recommendations to ensure due process and protect human rights following a visit to the southern border which included a presentation of our New Border Vision.

_DHS must have felt the heat from advocates as they seemingly walked back their cruel decision to eliminate deferred action for people experiencing chronic and terminal health issues.

_Please note the time and date change_join the Southern Arizona community and the Center for Biological Diversity on Sunday, October 6, 2-5 p.m., 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])

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_Deadly hope. This week, we saw yet another tragic loss of life of a Honduran mother, Idalia Hernandez, and her 21-month-old son, Iker, who were seeking to reunite with their family in the United States. After two weeks in Border Patrol custody, both were returned to Mexico (story in Spanish) as part of the administration’s cruel ‘Remain in Mexico’ program, forcing them to sleep in the streets of Matamoros with no food or money. Desperate, they traveled 300 miles to Del Rio and attempted to swim across the Rio Grande river, where they faced strong, insurmountable currents and both drowned. Straight up, this feels like a state-sponsored homicide. If you think this is an exaggeration, read these pediatricians’ concerns about children becoming the latest victims of this administration’s deadly and inhumane policies, including how Remain in Mexico is making the problem of children getting inadequate health care an “invisible” one. Idalia and Iker Presente!

_Keeping the Government Open. The House voted this week, 301-123, to pass a continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through Nov. 21, 2019. The bill rejected a White House ask that would allow Trump to build new, deadly border wall outside of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, which was restricted in the Fiscal Year 2019 appropriations bill. Let’s hope the Senate follows suit and Trump signs it to avoid another government shutdown. Let’s hope we don’t see any more hostage taking of government workers over a harmful wall.

_As if, really? As if Trump’s cash grab from military construction projects to build his ridiculous wall wasn’t offensive enough, he is planning to do exactly the same thing again if Congress doesn’t comply with his request for billions of more dollars to build his deadly, vanity wall in the Fiscal Year 2020 budget. He is also expecting Congress to backfill the military projects he himself robbed to enable him to steal even more taxpayer dollars. If this isn’t the definition of an autocratic process that puts in question the democratic balance of power that defines this nation, we don’t know what is. We hope our congressional members wisen up to the ruse. Adding insult to injury, we learn that Trump’s average cost for the wall fiasco has risen to $36 million per mile, way more than the administration’s original estimate of $24 million per mile. And, by the way, here are three wall projects the Pentagon stopped because even the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars weren’t enough to pay for these sections. But Trump is probably justifying the sky-high costs with the supposed fancy-shmancy_possibly confidential_technology he revealed during his recent visit to Otay Mesa in San Diego, much to the chagrin of Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, acting head of the Army Corps, who responded saying, “Sir, there could be some merit in not discussing that.” A guy can really keep secrets, huh? To see up close how Border Patrol agents perennially harass community members who are only interested in observing the ecological damage caused by Trump’s wall, go here.

_Call to action. We know. it’s tough to look at the chaos and devastation that we have witnessed in our border communities and think that there might be a way we can effect a different outcome that is more in line with our nation’s core values. But, you know, despite the theatre of the absurd we are witnessing, we believe there is room for a New Border Vision that ensures public safety for all, the defense of human life and human rights, and creates a welcoming border governance system for border residents and newcomers. Join us by urging your elected officials to better invest in things like health care, education and infrastructure and to #DefundHate.


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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Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.


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