_SBCC steering committee Joanna Williams of Kino Border Initiative tells the New York Times that not all migrants in the caravan want to seek asylum in the United States, some plan to stay in Mexico.
_This Twitter clip of DHS Secretary Nielsen’s response to the reporter’s question on whether or not troops deployed at the border would shoot border crossers gave us early Halloween heebie-jeebies.
_According to this opinion, recent polling data shows the majority of voters are tired of anti-immigrant rhetoric (and talk of a border wall) and may vote accordingly in the midterm elections.
_Dirty tricks. Just when you think President Trump has run out of tricks designed to stoke fear in his base and get them to vote, he one-ups it by trying to whip up a racist frenzy when claiming a caravan of migrants included “middle easterners,” asking the military to deploy active troops to the border, and then threatening to shut down the southern border. This reflects ignorance of how Central American migrants fleeing horrific violence know that there is safety in numbers when traveling through some of the most dangerous regions of this hemisphere. But, you know what else? Refugees have the right to ask our country for protection. After all, this is about families, including women and children, who are seeking safety from horrific violence. Instead of promising to meet them with the barrel of a gun and the politics of hate and exclusion, Trump has an opportunity to do the right thing and show the true character of our nation as a beacon of hope for the world. Mi capisci?
_What should the border represent? In our world, this quote (from yours truly) is really what our border should be: “The southern border should be a place of encounter, opportunity and hope — not a place of hate, exclusion and out-of-control militarization. To turn these desperate parents, who are only trying to provide safety for their children, into political pawns is to betray our sacred promise to treat people humanely in their time of need — regardless of where they come from.” That’s a different kind of “greatness,” no?
_On that note. Even before the caravan’s arrival, immigrant advocates have already been responding to the release of Central Americans from immigration detention to provide them meals, shelter and transportation to reunite with family members around the United States. ICE has been releasing them with notices to appear and ankle monitors in an effort to relieve overcrowding in detention facilities, which are at 98 percent capacity. As in 2014, this story is proof that border communities are ready and able to provide a humanitarian response. We can be good peeps.
_Rocks vs. bullets? After being acquitted of murder in April, Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz is now facing manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter charges in the federal courthouse in Tucson in the fatal shooting of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16. In opening statements, the federal prosecutor said that the reason Agent Swartz shot 16 bullets at Jose Elena (10 of which hit him in the back and head) in Nogales, Arizona, was that he was “tired of rock-throwers.” While Border Patrol consider rocks lethal, in the entire history of the Border Patrol, not a single agent has died as the result of a confirmed rock-throwing. The vast majority die from motor vehicle accidents. Dodging bullets is not the same as dodging rocks.
_Get out and vote. We are less than two weeks away from Nov. 6. It’s time to decide whether we are going to vote out hate, discrimination and xenophobia or vote in compassion, dignity, and benevolence. Up to you. #RevitalizeNotMilitarize our communities.
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.