Mirror, mirror on the Wall

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_We created this video to commemorate the 9th anniversary of the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas who was brutally beaten and killed by Border Patrol in San Diego, CA; more than 80 people have been killed by Border Patrol since 2010, without a single agent held accountable.

_Border congressional members Xochitl Torres-Small (NM), Henry Cuellar (TX), and Veronica Escobar (TX) lead a letter to the House appropriations leadership that requested grants be made to FEMA to reimburse governmental and non-governmental groups along the border who are providing humanitarian assistance to refugees released into border communities by ICE and CBP; the letter was signed by many border congressional members.

_SBCC ally Astrid Dominguez of the ACLU Border Rights Center talks about the deplorable conditions children are kept in CBP custody, the continued separation of children from their families, the secrecy of CBP investigations, and the manufactured crisis at the border, among other border topics.

_Historic sites and family memories face erasure thanks to Trump’s dangerous, costly and harmful vanity wall.

_This week we reached 10,000 likes on Facebook and we couldn’t be more grateful to be your trusted source of information for all things border related!


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_Mirror, mirror on the Wall. No surprise that Trump’s narcissism forces him to obsessively gaze in the mirror on his vanity wall. But, much to his chagrin, we had a win with our first lawsuit when a federal judge blocked the construction of the wall_that used “emergency” military funding_in two areas on the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona, and another near Columbus, New Mexico (story quotes SBCC steering committee member Andrea Guerrero of Alliance San Diego). Angered, Trump_who is loathe to any kind of checks and balances on his presidency_demanded an immediate appeal of the ruling, but the judge denied it. We also joined the ACLU and the Sierra Club in filing a new complaint to block other parts of the border wall that may be built by so-called “emergency” funding. Meanwhile, a coalition of 20 states, led by led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra renewed a preliminary injunction that was denied by another judge, “arguing the funds the Trump administration has proposed to use for the border wall are neither authorized nor appropriated by Congress for that purpose.” Checks and balances, peeps.

_Kleptocratic cronyism. Beneath the anti-immigrant policies of this Administration seems to be a troubling layer of kleptocracy, where supporters make money off of suffering (like detaining immigrants to line the pockets of private prison corporations) and fear-mongering. This week, we saw the feverish construction of the first segment of border wall built with private donations on private land. When taking a deeper look, It was such an obvious example of cronyism as the same corporation behind the construction of this wall is one that Trump has been pushing on the Army Corp of Engineers to employ. Not to mention an advisor of the “We Build the Wall” group is none other than Trump’s buddy Kris Kobach, the same person behind anti-immigrant bills like Arizona’s SB 1070. Then there was a bit of drama, when (oopsy) “We Build the Wall” didn’t seem to have gotten a permit for the wall construction and the mayor of Sunland Park, New Mexico, issued a cease and desist letter. Unfortunately, the city rescinded the cease and desist after getting hundreds of calls demanding the wall be built. The bullying calls came mostly from people who lived out of state as noted by this key quote, “...the receptionist at Sunland Park City Hall answered non-stop telephone calls, writing down whether the caller was in favor or opposed to the border fence. ‘OK, ma'am. I'll tell the mayor you support the wall,’ she said. ‘No ma'am, we're not in Mexico, we're in New Mexico.’ SBCC steering committee member Kevin Bixby of Southwest Environmental Center noted how this group has been disrespectful to New Mexico. This is why any policy or practice implemented in our communities need our input. Nothing like having your quality of life eroded by clueless out-of-staters.

_Definition of Insanity. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight for the situation that has been created at our border by Trump’s borderline crazy failed policies. These have literally created an inferno for people fleeing violence and poverty at our border, including for people forced to return to Mexico to await their immigration hearings in Ciudad Juárez and other parts of the border, and where thousands of families have been forced to wait for 8 to 10 weeks (or more) as part of CBP’s turnbacks and metering tactics, forcing many to cross between ports of entry. Now Trump is threatening to deny asylum applications to people who travel through any other country before arriving to the United States. And, as we were going to press, Trump announced he was going to impose up to 25% tariffs on Mexican products, starting June 10, effectively taxing Americans to get Mexico to stop Central Americans, as our friends at America’s Voice put it. How’s that working for you? Not only is he wasting taxpayers dollars on policies that only exacerbate the situation, but taxpayers may now have to take the brunt of higher costs on products from Mexico. Plainly, we need to rethink how we govern our border. See our #NewBorderVision.

_Let’s make it happen. On Monday evening, the House might vote on H.R. 6, Dream and Promise Act 2019, first in the Rules Committee, then possibly on the floor as early as Tuesday. We all know that this Act is urgently needed to protect millions of individuals and families across the country. But to also understand what effect eligible immigrants have on our national economy, consider the following stats: (1) eligible immigrants own 215,400 homes in the United States and pay $2,506,800,000 in annual mortgage payments; (2) they and their households contribute $17,380,900,000 in federal taxes and $9,690,100,000 in state and local taxes each year, and (3) these households generate $75,382,900,000 annually in spending power (source: Center for American Progress, May 2019). That would represent a huge loss in revenues for our national economy if this act is not passed by Congress. More importantly, a recent poll shows that voters overwhelmingly (nearly 80%) support a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. Please call and urge your representatives to vote YES on H.R. 6_and NO to any harmful, anti-immigrant amendments_ and urge your senators to follow suit. It’s time.


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.


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