_A Human Rights Watch report exposes the inhumane and abusive conditions for women and children in CBP holding cells commonly referred to as hieleras, or “freezers.”
_Trump is again planning to visit Southern California sometime in March to check out the prototypes for his harmful border wall.
_On March 5_the date of Trump’s fake DACA deadline _ immigrant youth and rights activists will march to Capitol Hill to urge Congress to quickly pass a simple, narrow legislative DACA solution like the Dream Act.
_Starting today, SBCC will be saying see you later to our much-beloved and indefatigable leader, Christian Ramirez, who will be going on a temporary leave. Yours truly will step in as interim director.
_♬♫ It’s my wall and I can do what I want to. To the dismay of border communities and people who care about the environment and natural habitat at the U.S.-Mexico border, a U.S. District Judge in California ruled that Trump could waive any protective U.S. laws he wanted to, like the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, so he could build his deleterious wall. This is more than “boys and their toys,” people, we’re talking about a seriously damaging, ineffective and wasteful idea. The judge was forced to make this ruling because his job is to interpret current laws, which in this case was the Real ID Act (Sec. 102), which originally granted waivers to these protections. The lesson here is that if you hear a congressional member say that the border wall can be challenged in court, they’re not acknowledging the laws they created back in 2005 will make that nearly impossible. This is why we need to urge Congress to vote against funding a border wall by, among other things, signing our petition here (thanks to those who have already signed!).
_There he goes again. Despite the fact that Senate initiatives that proposed $25 billion for a border wall failed a couple of weeks ago, Congress is now considering Trump’s request for wasting $1.6 billion of your tax dollars as part of the FY2018 budget to build 65 miles of a border wall in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. And, if that doesn’t work, Trump is asking for the same $1.6 billion in the FY2019 budget and another $18 billion over 10 years to finish the wall. Again, a border wall is not only a wasteful use of money_which could be better spent on much-needed health care and things like school safety_but it will also cause life-threatening flooding, pollute the environment by trapping trash in waterways and at its base, interfere with migration patterns of endangered species, and take away land from U.S. citizens.
_Southern New Mexico Communities Resist. SBCC member organization CAFé will hold an event on March 6, where Dreamers, their families, and clergy will talk with in-district staffers about the congressional failure to pass DACA protections and the misguided attempt to use DACA recipients as bargaining chips for further militarizing border communities. On March 8, they will also protest Operation Streamline in Las Cruces. For more info, email Johana Bencomo. Pa’alante!
_Reality Check. Reflecting on why the Senate initiatives failed, Andrea Guerrero, SBCC co-chair, noted in a story in The Atlantic, “SBCC has been very clear about what border communities need and what they need is a solution that not only protects Dreamers but to the extent it includes any kind of border policy, that that border policy be driven by data, analysis, and consultation...The great failure of the Rounds-King bill was that it did not include data, analysis, and consultation. It predetermined that what we need is $25 billion that was based on a political agreement.” In other words, we shouldn’t build a wall for a wall’s sake.
_Heartless. The ACLU filed a suit against the separation of a mother and her young daughter after seeking asylum at the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego, California. The mother has been detained since November in the Otay Mesa Detention Center, while her child was sent to another facility in Chicago. Unfortunately, this so-called “deterrence policy”_which is a direct violation of our international human rights obligations_seems to be a cruel common practice by CBP at the U.S.-Mexico border. To protect asylum-seekers, the Women’s Refugee Commission put together this Know Your Parental Rights If You Are Separated From Your Children at the Border resource in English (PDF) and in Spanish (PDF). Get this: not only does the punishment not fit the crime, but there was no crime at all.
_Brokering Hope? Hope Border Institute, the Center for Migration Studies, and Faith in Public Life will hold a congressional briefing on “The Border Wall, the Militarization of Border Communities and the Criminalization of Asylum Seekers in the Trump Era” on Monday, March 5, 12:15 p.m., at the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC), Room HVC-201AB. Panelists Bishop Mark Seitz of the Diocese of El Paso, Kevin Appleby, Center for Migration Studies, Dylan Corbett, Hope Border Institute, Linda Rivas, Borderland Immigration Council (BIC), and Leah Chavla, Women's Refugee Commission, will discuss how the criminalization of asylum seekers and proposals to expand the border wall will further militarize border communities and undermine our obligations to treat asylum seekers justly and compassionately.
_Call to #DefundHate. With Trump and Congress wanting to wastefully increase the budget for ICE and CBP, now more than ever it’s important to call your congressional members and urge they not enable a massive increase in funding for Trump’s deportation force and instead insist on cuts to ICE’s and CBP’s budgets and on a simpler, narrow DACA legislation, like the Dream Act, with no further border militarization.
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.