_A big thank you to Paul DeRienzo from WBAI News for interviewing Yours Truly on the state of the border wall, and how it continues to wreak havoc in our southern border communities (starts around 8:00).
_Kudos to Texas Civil Rights Project for their work on this excellent segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver covering the border wall: we’ve said it once, we’ll say it again_WALLS DON’T WORK.
_The numbers don’t lie: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asked for public comment on 75 miles of border wall going up in Arizona, and_shocker_virtually everyone opposed it.
_Killer wait times. Our hearts are heavy this week as news spread of an 87-year-old woman dying in her family’s car as she waited to cross the border in San Diego. Her family said that they had been waiting 6 to 7 hours just to cross, and that she went into cardiac arrest. SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios discusses how the administration is collectively punishing border commuters by making them wait in line hours on end at ports of entries. These are cruel policies designed to inflict even more pain on the people that live binational lifestyles, not to keep us safe. Take for example this Tweet by Cynthia Pompa of the ACLU, which shows CBP agents taking off their masks to talk to people in the Rio Grande Valley! Earth to CBP, we’re in a pandemic. The current administration wants nothing more than to build walls, and they’ll stop at nothing to do it_from building walls in cemeteries, to inspiring the hateful rhetoric that led to this massive border wall fundraising scam. We need a New Border Vision that treats people with dignity NOW.
_Protecting sacred lands. Several indigenous tribes of the southern border region have upped the pressure against wall construction that desecrates their sacred sites and destroys their ancestral lands. In California, the Kumeyaay_whose lands span from San Diego into Baja California in Mexico_have been demonstrating against border wall construction since July, with protests drawing hundreds of people. In Arizona, the Tohono O'Odham people have been opposing border wall construction for years, as the border wall bisects their sovereign lands and impedes tribe members, cutting off families on either side of the border from one another. This week they were able to successfully block border construction_we call that a win! Speaking of the border wall, our allies at the Sierra Club released a dispatch from the border wall with an inside look at indigenous actions to stop construction on ancestral sites. Solidarity to indigenous movements to protect their sacred lands!
_Villainous to the core. In a scene out of some dystopian sci-fi horror flick, the Trump administration considered deterring immigrants from trying to cross the border by unleashing military-grade heat rays that can heat water molecules on the surface of the skin to 130°F, according to the New York Times. If you’re like nah, that can’t be true, just remember the time when the wannabe Dear Leader suggested shooting migrants in the legs and fortifying the border with “a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators.” So yeah, it’s probably true. What’s most concerning about this administration’s penchant to use “non-lethal” force against immigrants is how willing it is to also use it against civilians protesting racism across the country. Just this week we found out that riot-gear spending soared to 114% in Trump’s police-power surge which included lasers and “tactical robots.” In fact, ICE and CBP are among the top five federal agencies that spend the most on tear gas, rubber bullets or other non-lethal gear. Given that the Goes to show, what happens on the border impacts everybody else.
_We must act NOW. As we move closer and closer to the 2020 Presidential Elections, we must do everything in our power to make sure the candidates hear the voices from the border, and understand that what we want is not more walls, unaccountable border agents and deadly enforcement-only policies, but a New Border Vision that expands public safety, upholds human rights and welcomes all people to our borders. Let’s #RevitalizeNotMilitarize the southern border region, and make it a place where all can thrive.
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.