_Roxsana Hernández, a transgender woman who sought asylum at the San Ysidro port of entry in California, tragically died while in ICE custody in New Mexico.
_ICYMI: DHS is using this false statistic to justify that the cruelness of separating families at the border is an effective deterrent.
_New Mexico true: Join us at the “All Against the Wall” protest, near Santa Teresa, New Mexico, Saturday, June 2, from 5 to 8 p.m.
_Lost (and Not Found): Moral Compass. Increasing criminal prosecutions of people seeking dignity, safety and a better life_while tearing their children and infants away from them in the process, is creating anguish and chaos at the southern border. Keeping children in abusive, inhumane conditions. Falsely declaring legal protections established to protect people who are fleeing persecution and violence as well as incorrectly stating that the separation of children from their parents is mandated by law (there is no such law). Using racial profiling to stop and interrogate U.S. citizens. Meeting the dream of a young immigrant with a bullet to the head. These are all symptoms of an immigration policy that has lost its way and become a heartless machine set on deportation-only mode. Reward if found: a nation’s soul.
_Conflation nation. Check out this great article that parses out a few confusing headlines, including the difference between: (1) unaccompanied minors that arrived alone at the border, some of whom were “lost” in the system (spoiler alert: these kids weren’t lost, they just didn’t answer the phone), (2) how a new “zero-tolerance” policy at the border that aims to criminally prosecute everyone crossing the border between ports of entry is resulting in more and more children being torn away from their parents (i.e., nefariously creating more unaccompanied minors), and (3) how the administration is clamping down on asylum seekers (hello?) by criminally prosecuting them. Is it just us, or does anyone else see the non sequitur in prosecuting victims of persecution and violence?
_Blatant Untruths. In the last month, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has said that people who are seeking asylum should go to a port of entry, instead of attempting to enter between ports of entry, and even suggested that those who seek asylum at ports of entry won’t be separated from their children or prosecuted. (Yeah? Tell that to Mirian G.) On recent visits to the U.S.-Mexico border, Sec. Nielsen has also mischaracterized our communities. And Border Patrol continues to fall in line by changing their story about the tragic killing of Claudia Patricia Gómez González and exaggerating numbers of assaults on agents to justify their actions. In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act (George Orwell).
_Flower Anniversary. Family and friends of Anastasio Hernández Rojas marked the 8th anniversary of his death at the hands of border agents with the announcement of a mural honoring his life to be painted by San Diego artist Victor Ochoa. The family set up an altar on the steps of the Chicano Park’s kiosk and several speakers called for more accountability of CBP agents, particularly in light of the recent killing of Claudia Patricia Gómez González. Since 2010, Border Patrol agents have killed more than 50 people and not a single agent has been held accountable. Anastasio’s case is the first case of its kind to go before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an international tribunal that is examining the U.S. government’s pattern and practice of abusing its power. SBCC co-chair Andrea Guerrero of Alliance San Diego and SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of American Friends Service Committee spoke at the vigil, noting the need for stronger CBP accountability measures like body worn cameras.
_Speaking our truth. We’d like to thank Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA - and first Guatemalan American member of congress) for the powerful letter she wrote to Trump about the shameless killing of Claudia Patricia Gómez González, saying “It is also imperative that you clearly communicate to the Border Patrol and its agents that asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants are human beings, whose basic human rights must be respected. They are not, as you have stated, ‘animals.’ Finally, I urge you to rethink your strategy for securing the United States’ southwest border. The use of deadly force against innocent and unarmed civilians will never make our southwest border secure.”
_Congress Returns to Session. U.S. congressional members return to DC next week and will probably be picking up where they left off on the Queen of the Hill rule strategy that aims to force a vote on four DACA-related policy fixes. While we are strong advocates for a DREAM Act that offers a pathway to U.S. citizenship for young immigrants, we don’t think this should be done in exchange for more border enforcement, a compromise that would create a Sophie’s Choice for our families. Please call your congressional members next week and tell them we don’t need more wall, more agents or more detention beds. In short, tell them to #DefundHate, #KeepFamiliesTogether and #RevitalizeNotMilitarize our communities.
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 Vicki@alliancesd.org, by Wednesday COB.