_This story which quotes SBCC co-chair Christina Patiño-Houle of the Rio Grande Valley Network and SBCC ally John-Michael Torres of La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) provides a true description of the vibrant and welcoming nature of border communities.
_Without much fanfare, Trump signed a continuing resolution that keeps the government running until Nov. 21, giving congressional members more time to come to an agreement over Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations.
_Stay tuned for the new report by the U.S. Commission on Human Rights, “Trauma at the Border: The Human Cost of Inhumane Immigration Policies,” set to be released on Thursday, Oct. 24.
_Operation Grim Reaper. SBCC held several events on Tuesday, Oct. 1 to observe the deadly legacy of Operation Gatekeeper (or should we just call it Operation Grim Reaper?) and to urge elected officials to re-think how we govern our borders. Our partners came together in the Rio Grande Valley for a roundtable conversation about Gatekeeper and its ill effects on our communities, shared testimonies via videos in New Mexico (which include our own steering committee members Johana Bencomo of Comunidades en Acción y de Fé and Amanda Munro of Southwest Environmental Center), held a vigil in Arizona, and held a press conference in San Diego, California. SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee co-wrote this op-ed in the Washington Post and SBCC ambassador and former Border Patrol agent Jenn Budd wrote about regrets and personal experiences with Gatekeeper in an op-ed in the San Diego Union Tribune. SBCC co-chair Christina Patiño Houle of the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, spoke about how taxpayer dollars have illogically been spent on militarizing our border after Gatekeeper instead of paying for infrastructure, education, and health care. We also saw news stories that addressed Gatekeeper and pivoted to SBCC’s New Border Vision in English (which quotes SBCC steering committee member Lilian Serrano of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium) and Spanish (which quotes yours truly). The U.S. Congressional Hispanic Caucus also tweeted about the Washington Post op-ed. Our national partners also joined in. Other Gatekeeper events will be held in the borderlands throughout the month of October. Join us in shutting down Operation Grim Reaper!
_Keeping it Real. SBCC’s lawsuit against Trump’s wall is referenced in this in-depth article about how border wall construction, climate change, the failure to address the root cause of migration, and anti-immigrant rhetoric is placing the lives of migrants, borderland residents, and wildlife at risk. Cherished environmental regions in Southern Arizona may be completely and irretrievably lost by new wall construction in the Organ Pipe Cactus Monument, explains SBCC ally Laiken Jordhal of the Center for Biological Diversity. Meanwhile construction for another 60 miles of border wall has also started in Yuma, Arizona. And as Trump announced new border wall contracts for 65 miles in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, the Carrizo-Comecrudo Tribe of South Texas managed to stop construction activities near the Jackson Cemetery that contains ancestral remains with a cease and desist letter and a powerful rainfall. We definitely need to rain more on this deadly steel parade.
_Amoral narcissist. That about sums up the description of our most unpresidential president when he threatens to shoot migrants in the legs and install a moat filled with alligators and snakes at our border. All because... why? Trump’s frustration over refugees at our southern border and his own words answer it best, “You are making me look like an idiot! . . . I ran on this. It’s my issue.” While he didn’t get the implementation of these radical proposals, he did clean the DHS house and unleash a series of anti-immigrant policies that have only enhanced the suffering experienced by families and children coming to our border to seek protection or a better life. While he denied having said any of these things, his anti-immigrant rhetoric, especially towards what he perceives to be “s-hole countries,” is well documented. And it’s precisely this kind of attitude that has led Border Patrol agents to act above the law and unjustly detain people who are here with proper authorization. Is there a line that can be drawn to help this country find its moral compass?
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.