_SBCC steering committee member and Director of American Friends Service Committee’s U.S./Mexico Program Pedro Rios shares his thoughts on President Biden’s approach to asylum seekers arriving at our border_read them here.
_Check out Michael Seifert, our colleague at the ACLU of Texas, in a roundtable discussion on the protection of unaccompanied children at the southern border.
_Andrea Guerrero, SBCC Steering Committee member and executive director of Alliance San Diego comments on San Diego opening its convention center for use as temporary shelter for unaccompanied minors.
_SBCC celebrated 10 years of border rights advocacy on March 31st 2021!
_Education on Migration. We here in the Southern Border Region try to take a ‘good faith’ approach when it comes to those who’ve been spreading misinformation about what’s going on at the border. And given some of the narratives circulating out there that are so dangerously off-base, we think it’s high time (yet again) for a little education on migration and the southern border. *Puts on ‘Border Scholar’ hat*. The truth is migration is not new_people have been migrating since the beginning of humanity. As this excellent piece from Tom Wong shows, fluctuations in people arriving at our borders is by in large a regular (and predictable) seasonal pattern, combined with backlogs created by the previous administration and the pandemic. It also involves desperate circumstances that force children and families to flee their home countries. It should not be sensationalized as something other than what it is. For an example of what NOT to do, check out Arizona Governor Mike Ducey, who chose to ignore data and instead is spouting harmful lies amid calls for further militarization of our region (paywall). Fortunately other lawmakers and community leaders (including Yours Truly) pushed back, and called for a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach that welcomes people with respect, and connects them to resources in an efficient and dignified way. We’re on a mission to build a #NewBorderVision!
_Blame the Bad Guys. While we’re on the topic: it’s time we stop scapegoating people seeking protection and address the real problems in our region: hyper-militarization, including the Border Patrol agents who pretend to be heroes. A recent video released by CBP allegedly showed human smugglers dropping children over the border wall into the U.S. in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. CBP’s statement praised the Border Patrol agents who took the children into custody after taking them to the hospital. But wait, who put that dangerous wall there? And whose agency has been grounded in the intentionally cruel ‘prevention through deterrence’ strategy for decades, driving migrants to desperate & deadly situations like this? That’d be the United States & CBP. Meanwhile border agents continue dangerous practices like dropping off paroled migrants in the middle of nowhere, leaving people to die. It’s a practice that has been done for decades according to former agent Jenn Budd. In fact, taking migrants to the hospital is something agents don’t do far too often. In recent days alone, a 29-year-old Guatemalan man died (paywall), two days after he was taken into CBP custody. But his life could have been saved if he had received the medical care he needed more urgently. This lapse in care often results in the preventable death of migrants in CBP custody. Border agents are the real crisis.
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.