_A new low: The Trump administration is aiming to implement a new policy to publicly body shame women of child-bearing age and deny them travel visas for tourism or business claiming these women pose a threat to national security; this idea is not only offensive, it’s outright discriminatory.
_Congressional Democrats expressed deep concerns about the potential harms to military families as Trump threatens to rob another $7.2 billion from congressionally appropriated military funds to continue building his vanity wall.
_Human Rights First released a report documenting the dangers people have faced in Mexico as the result of Trump’s cruel and misnamed Migrant Protection Protocols (which will have been implemented for a year on January 29, 2020); more than 815 attacks (murder, rape, torture and kidnapping) were registered, including against children.
_Nose-thumbing olympics. Trump’s modus operandi is to thumb noses at laws, processes, and just about everything_e.g., when he thumbed his nose at the congressional “power of the purse” by declaring a fakity-fake emergency to shift congressionally appropriated money away from military projects to build his useless and dangerous border wall. Arizona Border Patrol agents, whose union endorsed Trump’s candidacy in 2016, seem to have stolen a page from his playbook and are now thumbing their nose at Arizona federal court orders. U.S. District Court Judge David C. Bury criticized the fact that Border Patrol has failed to take any measures to improve conditions in short-term custody facilities in Arizona_i.e., doing little to relieve overcrowding people in holding cells and holding them for a longer time in inhumane conditions. Read this ACLU of Arizona blog to understand better the terrible conditions of these holding cells. Judge Bury may rule as early as today on what to do next, but we think Border Patrol should not be defying court orders. No one is above the law, right?
_Rising costs of the border wall. For three years we have denounced Trump’s border wall as harmful and lethal for our communities, our sacred sites, our lives and private property, our natural preserves and our wildlife. We also hoped that congressional members had learned lessons from the history of horrible effects of these barriers on borderlanders, how walls increased deadly flooding, stole land and sources of income from hard-working ranchers and border families, put our cultural heritage at risk, and funneled people to their deaths by forcing them to cross in remote regions of the border. But history doesn’t seem to be really sinking in. And, guess what? Trump’s wall is now turning out to be the most expensive border wall built in the world_$20 million per mile, which is five times what Bush’s wall cost. And we know Mexico is not paying for it. Guess who is though? Yep, you. Think where that money could be invested instead.
_Separation anxiety. Government officials announced that they have finally reached an accurate tally of the number of children separated from their parents during Trump’s so-called “zero tolerance” policy. The magical number is 4,368. But is it really? Here’s the thing: family separations continue to happen to this day, such as in this case of a grandmother who was separated from her grand-daughter, and this case of a Honduran woman who also thought she had lost the ability to be near her sick baby. In a new court ruling, a judge sided with the Trump administration, permitting authorities to separate children from their families in certain cases. But in some great news_and as the result of a court order nine parents were returned to their families in the United States after being separated for more than a year and a half. Families should be kept together. Period.
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. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.