Lethal Weapon

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_A recent blog from our fellow Defund Hate coalition partners stands in solidarity and appreciation of 34 members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who sent a letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas and ICE Director Tae Johnson, urging the agency to abandon their “carceral approach to immigration” in the forthcoming enforcement priorities memo. #RightOn.

_With this memo, DHS officially ended the cruel, Trump-era doublespeak “Migrant Protection Protocols” (also known as “Remain in Mexico”), which forced people seeking safety in the United States to wait in Mexico for their immmigration proceedings; now let’s halt the use of the widely condemned Title 42 that unlawfully, and without due process, expels people. 

_SBCC steering committee member Dulce Garcia_executive director of Border Angels, DACA recipient, and immigration attorney_describes her experience returning to Mexico to help people seeking safety in the United States.

_Kudos to our colleagues at La Unión del Pueblo Unido (LUPE) in South Texas who called BS on Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s misinformation campaign and for his pandering to anti-immigrant, border-militarization zealots; immigrants strengthen our nation.

_Super excited to learn that two of the most expert border reporters/writers, Todd Miller and Melissa del Bosque (who have both written about the U.S.-Mexico border for more than two decades), have just started original reporting and analysis on the dynamics on the southern border via a weekly newsletter and podcast; sign up here.

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_Lethal weapon. We just don’t get it: why would the Biden Administration continue to use weaponized border enforcement policies that have only proven to be deadly and ineffective? This story, which quotes SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of American Friends Service Committee and describes the untimely death of Maria Eugenia Chavez Segovia (presente!) puts a human face on the desperation and tragedy created by policies_like Title 42_imposed on individuals and families seeking safety; policies that, btw, solve nothing and only serve to cause more suffering and push people towards their deaths. What is it going to take for the lightbulb to turn on at the White House? Seriously, let’s put our thinking caps on. In just one day, June 3, at 10:30 a.m., CBP “rescued” three “lost subjects” (two men and a woman) near Ocotillo, California and at 8 p.m., CBP ”rescued” four lost subjects (four adult men) in the same region. On the same day, CBP also found two deceased individuals near Yuma, Arizona. While border officials pat themselves on the back for these rescues and recoveries, there is zero recognition of their role in contributing to these deaths and dangerous disorientations. Even in their own Strategic Plan [for] 1994 and Beyond, Border Patrol acknowledges that their strategy of forcing people to cross in more hostile border regions is an effort to deter them. These “prevention through deterrence” tactics have proven time and again to be a gigantic, deadly failure. Human beings, who have migrated from the beginning of time, will not stop seeking to reunite with their families, flee from violence, or provide for their loved ones.  Wouldn’t it be better to do away with these lethal tactics and instead invest in welcoming centers at our ports of entry staffed with trauma specialists, social workers, childcare specialists, health professionals and asylum officers? Doing this would also better align with our nation’s values of equity, justice, and due process. #WelcomeWithDignity

_Fear compels. Unless you’ve buried your head under a rock in the last five years, you should be noticing how ultra-right elected officials have developed a penchant for using fear (instead of hope) to scare (instead of inspire) the holy bejesus out of folks by “othering” people who seem different to them. In their view, “othered” folks_like Immigrants, LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color_should all be feared. Folks who adopt this attitude then typically begin to blame victims of violence. #MeToo, anyone? Case in point is this infuriating press release issued by CBP (if you’re an ally, brace yourself), which boasts apprehending 180 people in three stash houses in the Laredo, Texas area and then paints a broad inculpatory stroke by saying they were not wearing PPE.  Even the accompanying photo is offensive. This. After. We know. CBP didn’t even want to wear masks at the start of the pandemic. As recently as August 2020, some CBP officials refused to wear masks. Seems like a double standard, no? And, if you have the stomach for it, this news story (courtesy of FOX News), implies that our beloved borderlands are something to be feared! What the heck-hay? Our communities are places of encounter, hope and diversity and we are among the safest cities in the nation. Stop disparaging our communities and get a life. #NewBorderVision

_Needs fixing. Not super surprising to learn that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) evaluated the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General and concluded_in a scathing report_that it needs fixing. It offers 21 recommendations that aim to improve the OIG’s adherence to professional standards and effective management practices and suggests that without doing so, “DHS OIG is not well positioned to fulfill its oversight mission.” We couldn’t agree more that strong oversight is needed of some of the most rogue agencies in DHS, like Border Patrol.


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.


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