_This news article alarmingly suggests that the Department of Justice attempted to suppress evidence that U.S. Border Patrol targeted humanitarian volunteers who were trying to save lives in the Arizona desert.
_SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of American Friends Service Committee comments on an indigenous performance art event in San Diego, California, that illustrated the collective pain felt by the community related to immigrant children being ripped away from their parents.
_The Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent this letter to congressional leadership demanding a reduction in DHS funding for immigration detention beds, border agents, and further border militarization.
_These are disturbing photos of the expansion of a tent city immigration detention center that jails young immigrants at the Tornillo port of entry in Texas.
_118 House Democrats sent this letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to reverse his misguided decision that made domestic violence, gang violence and gender-based violence invalid grounds for seeking asylum in the United States.
_In pursuit of honor. Check out our new, original video series called “Breaking the Green Line,” featuring Jenn Budd, a former Senior Border Patrol Agent and San Diego Sector Intelligence Officer. Budd left the Border Patrol after witnessing firsthand the unchecked corruption and abuse that have been a staple of Border Patrol for several decades.The Border Patrol continues to operate with little to no oversight, accountability, or transparency, leading to abuses and deaths across our nation’s borders. Under the Trump Administration, the Border Patrol aims to grow even larger and meaner_with more agents and more miles of a deadly and dangerous wall_further militarizing the Southern Border. Watch the video here. Echoing Budd’s firsthand account is this recent article that describes how another former Border Patrol agent, Mario, witnessed an agency rife with corruption and abuse, which prompted him to lay down his badge and gun. It was the honorable thing to do.
_Fatal attraction. As noted above, the U.S. Border Patrol seems to attract individuals of questionable character to join its ranks, but serial killers?!?!? Seriously? In the second multiple-murder case committed by a Border Patrol agent this year, a U.S. Border Patrol supervisory agent has confessed to killing four women and assaulting a fifth in Webb County, Texas. Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year veteran of the force, is being held on a $2.5 million bail. Ortiz is the second agent in the Laredo area to be arrested on murder charges this year. This spring, agent Ronald Anthony Burgos-Aviles was charged with killing his girlfriend and their one-year-old child. In May, a Border Patrol agent also shot and killed 20-year-old Claudia Patricia Gómez González in Rio Bravo, Texas. The Border Patrol’s pattern of death and abuse across the southern border and lack of accountability, oversight and transparency continues to jeopardize the trust and safety of border communities. Here is our statement. To boot, we also saw this week another former supervisory Border Patrol agent sentenced to two years in prison for purchasing guns illegally and for abusing his authority. Weirdly, and in spite of this week’s grim news, congressional members are contemplating lowering hiring standards for Border Patrol agents. Simply. Not. In. Touch.
_Wheeling and dealing. It’s that time a year where wheels and deals are made to make sure the federal government has enough fuel to keep it running for another year. In what was questionably viewed as a clever strategy, congressional members decided that instead of passing a ginormous funding bill that would cover all governmental agencies_commonly known as an omnibus_they would split and bundle together spending bills for relatively less controversial agencies, such as passing one to fund the departments of Veterans Affairs and Energy, as well as water projects, the Legislative Branch and military construction. This was followed by the Senate signing off on a “colossal bicameral compromise” that would fund most of the government for Fiscal Year 2019, and included passing spending budgets for the Departments of Defense, Education, Labor and Health and Human Services. As part of the compromise, the more controversial spending bills, like Homeland Security, would get current funding levels until December 7, 2018 (i.e., kicking the can down the road on these negotiations until after the midterm elections). While some congressional members expressed confidence in this strategy and suggested Trump would support it, he turned around and tweeted against it, calling it “ridiculous” because it didn’t include funding for his legit ridiculous, harmful border wall. Here we go again.
_Walls simply don’t work. CBP’s very own analysis of Trump’s vanity border wall seems to show that these don’t work. Concurring with this opinion is SBCC co-chair Andrea Guerrero of Alliance San Diego. Tell me again why we need a wall (supposedly paid for by Mexico)?
_Enough is enough/ya estuvo bueno. Hey, we get it. It’s tough to pick what we should fight for when everything that represents a huge advance in civil and human rights is being attacked and undermined under the Trump administration. But it’s really not that complicated. It boils down to the fundamental values of our nation. It’s about protecting the constitutional rights of freedom, equity and justice for all_regardless of immigration status or geography. And it’s about spending taxpayers money responsibly_without capitalizing on fear politics to spend our valuable resources on stupid and harmful things like more border wall, more detention beds, and more incarceration, and instead investing in the power of our communities, our health, our lands, our people and our wildlife. Please help us in restoring a powerful, more productive vision for our nation and remind your elected officials on the need to #RevitalizeNotMilitarize, #NoMoreBorderWalls, and #Dignity4All, including a #CleanDreamActNow.
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.