_Our adrenaline is still high from a live and lively discussion we just had on Facebook titled The Border Wall and the 2020 Elections, where we answered your questions about what’s at stake this November for the borderlands and millions who call the region home.
_We won yet another injunction (yay!) against the Trump administration's unlawful transfer of congressionally appropriated Pentagon funds to build his vanity and lethal border wall (story quotes our Sierra Club and ACLU litigation partners and Yours Truly).
_SBCC steering committee member Nia Rucker of the ACLU of New Mexico explains what her organization is doing to protect voting rights during this crucial election time.
_Check out this recent, gut-wrenching blog by our colleagues at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) that lists abuses in just 2020 alone committed by CBP agents, reflecting the agency’s deeply entrenched culture of violence and impunity; seriously, enough is enough.
_Downward spiral escalator. Who would have thought that more than four years after we saw then-presidential candidate Donald Trump ride down an escalator, the escalator would spiral downward into cruelty and outright dictatorial madness? Take for example this latest report, “DHS Run Amok? A Reckless Overseas Operation, Violations, and Lies,” issued by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Senator Robert Menendez’s office, that exposes Department of Homeland Security personnel engaging in reckless overseas operations. Here’s the nutshell: the report reveals that U.S. immigration officials used unmarked vans in Guatemala to snatch up and transport migrant families back to the Guatemala-Honduras border. Reminiscent of Portland, anyone? Wait, and tell us why these U.S. agents are enforcing Trump’s immigation agenda on foreign soil far from our actual borders? There are so many levels of wrong here. Senator Menendez asked the inspector generals of both the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) to look into how “DHS misused State Department funds, violated a written agreement between the two departments, tried to hide the existence of the operation, and caused the State Department to provide misleading information to Congress.” Another Ges-trump-o example of downward spiral-staircasing is when we learned that DHS issued a memo that requires staff to report colleagues who may be suspected of leaking information to the media or public_even if the information might be of public interest to ensure transparency. Regardless of what side of the aisle you sit on, this should be unacceptable.
_Arresting peaceful protestors? It was truly shocking to witness on National Indigenous People’s Day, the tear gassing, rubber bullet shooting at close range, and arrests of 12 people who were peacefully protesting the construction of a lethal border wall through the Tohono O’odham Nation’s sacred and ancestral tribal lands. While Congressman Raúl Grijalva and the Tohono O'odham Nation called for an immediate investigation into these arrests, these calls seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Let’s hope this doesn’t continue and that we can have a collective and respectful conversation about how to push back against this cruel and racist wall. #TearTheWallDown
_Seeking justice. Just like the families of George Floyd (¡presente!) and Breonna Taylor (¡presente!), six families who experienced the loss of a loved one to Border Patrol cross-border violence are seeking justice by making a case in front of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. These families_ who lost loved ones as the result of cross-border fatal shootings by Border Patrol agents standing on the U.S. side who indiscriminately shot and killed people standing in México_including two teens_are hoping to get some measure of justice. The six cross-border fatal shootings include: Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca, 15 (¡presente!) José Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16 (¡presente!) Jorge Alfredo Solis Palma, 28 (¡presente!) Juan Pablo Pérez Santillán, 30 (¡presente!), Guillermo Arévalo Pedraza, 36 (¡presente!) and Jesús Alfredo Yañez Reyes, 40 (¡presente!). Families and communities_far and wide_will persist in seeking justice for the loss of life of their loved ones at the hands of Border Patrol agents. Please join us in demanding justice by contacting your congressional members. #RevitalizeNotMilitarize #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. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.