_ SBCC Steering Committee member and Texas Civil Rights Project attorney Ricky Garza comments on the story of Ociel Mendoza, a Texas landowner who is standing against the building of more harmful and deadly border wall on his property and in his region.
_ #ICYMI: Yours Truly was honored to be a speaker in The Border and Its Bodies: The Embodiment of Risk in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands talk!
_ We wanted to give a shoutout to Las Cruces as they move towards utilizing a sewer system, per councilmember Johana Bencomo.
_Magnus The Reformer? President Biden officially nominated Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus for commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. If confirmed by the Senate, Magnus would lead the largest law enforcement agency in the country. Although Magnus was an outspoken critic of the former administration's immigration policies and shown public support for progressive community-based policing practices, we have our doubts that he is up to the task of bringing about the systemic (and seismic) changes that corruption and abuse-plagued CBP needs. In fact, SBCC steering committee member Alba Jamarillo of Arizona Justice for our Neighbors, raised concerns about Magnus’ lack of transparency when it took two months for Tucson police to release video footage of the death of Carlos Ingram Lopez who was pleading for water while being restrained by Tucson police. Will Magnus live up to his namesake and be a great reformer or fall into the cycle and pattern of secrecy and corruption within CBP?
_ We’re Essential! This week the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and Border Safety, led by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA), held hearings entitled “The Essential Role of Immigrant Workers in America,” bringing the spotlight to immigration reform. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus endorsed the Citizenship for Essential Workers Act, which would grant a pathway to citizenship for the over 5 million undocmented essential workers who were on the frontlines keeping us safe, healthy and fed during the pandemic The We Are Home Campaign put out this powerful video about the importance of immigrant workers in our communities, something that most voters agree with. According to this memo from Data for Progress, likely voters from key senate states_Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconson_support a pathway to citizenship. We hope the Senate will hear the people and move towards a pathway to citizenship for all.
_ Communities NOT Cages. Our colleagues at Detention Watch Network released a new report on the state of immigration, the corporations that benefit from detaining immigrants and how to transition away from a detention economy. The report calls for an end to Title 42 expulsions, the elimination of incarceration, and a move towards systems that support immigrants and their communities. Indigenous immigrant communities are especially harmed by these enforcement-only and punitive policies, harms further exacerbated by a language barrier that authorities fail to bridge. As this article indicates, one in five people detained in the U.S. are indigenous, yet border and immigration authorities don’t track this information, nor do they track the indigenous languages spoken. According to El Paso Matters, CBP Spokesperson Landon Hutchens went so far as to say, that after hundreds of years since the Spanish colonization of the Americas, “you’d think (Indigenous immigrants) would have learned Spanish by now.” It just goes to show how CBP is rooted in the racist ideals of eurocentricity. If we are to break down the systems that profit from detention of indigenous peoples, we need to move towards a New Border Vision that upholds human rights.
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.