_SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee reflects on the need for a Biden-Harris administration to consult with impacted communities as the transition team lays out its reform agenda.
_More of this from the American Immigrations Lawyers Association (AILA), “A Vision for America as a Welcoming Nation: AILA Recommendations for the Future of Immigration.”
_National Geographic shows the damaging and lethal harms to borderlands caused by Trump's vanity wall in this story that quotes our colleagues Laiken Jordahl of the Center for Biological Diversity and Myles Traphagen of the Wildlands Network.
_Phew! We felt a huge weight of cruelty and terror lift once we learned that Joe Biden had won the presidential election with Kamala Harris as his Vice President Elect, the latter representing a truly historic moment for women of color. There’s been a lot of speculation about who voted and why, but we’re just going to say it was a battle about fear mongering and hate versus hope. And hope won. But, we’re not naive. We know there will still be a lot of battles ahead and that our border and immigrant communities are still not safe from out-of-control and unaccountable Border Patrol agents nor are we safe from more damaging border wall being built during the lame-duck session. But at least Donald Duck...er...I mean, Donald Trump will be gone. And what a legacy of hate, divisiveness, and pain has he left in his wake! Now is the time for common sense to prevail and for the country to come together as one nation that will become better known for its humanity, diversity and compassion to Pachamama and humankind. Let the healing begin.
_Monument to racism. While President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to stop additional border wall construction once he takes office, Trump’s minions at CBP confirmed it will move forward with projects that have already been funded. It’s angering and frustrating that Trump_striving to add even more miles to his monument to racism_will continue to waste taxpayer dollars on his vanity wall when those funds could be used to provide desperately needed COVID-19 relief for families across the southern border region. He just doesn’t seem to care. Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee unveiled 12 spending measures for Fiscal Year 2021, including the Homeland Security bill that proposes an additional $2 billion for border wall funding. You read that right, $2B. Again, our taxpayer dollars should be focused on providing relief, not funding Trump’s lethal wall. Seriously, one mile of border wall = 244,000 COVID-19 tests or 36 million N95 masks. One mile. We prefer the House Appropriations Committee version of the spending bill, which gives $0 to border wall construction and rescinds the $1.375 billion it gave CBP for border wall construction in Fiscal Year 2020. But the House version ain’t all perfect as it still contains too much dinero for border surveillance technologies and Operation Stonegarden (used to co-op local and state police into immigration enforcement), which is clearly harmful to our communities. Once in office, we hope President-elect Biden calls for an immediate halt of border wall construction and that he cancels all outstanding contracts; he can, and should, do this. Then we can get busy tearing the wall down in an environmentally conscious way, making reparations to tribes whose Native lands have been desecrated by border wall construction, and stopping all eminent domain cases in South Texas. Not a tall order from our perspective. There are other things we’d like to see him do with the support of his VP_like rolling back all of Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies_but we’ll get to that in upcoming issues of Border_Lines. Stay tuned.
_A trio of condolences. Our condolences go out to the families of the three people who died_in just the last two weeks_at the hands of Border Patrol agents. In the most recent case, a Border Patrol agent ran over and killed a person who was lying on a road in Calexico, California. In another case on Oct. 23, David Angel Villalobos-Baldovinos (¡presente!), a long-time California resident, was fatally shot by a border agent in San Ysidro. His family is demanding justice. Also on Oct. 23, another person was fatally shot by Border Patrol agents near Laredo, Texas. In two of these incidents, we have yet to find out the names or nationalities of the people who died. With these three deaths, the total number of deaths after an encounter with a border agent since 2010 now stands at 117. Enough, please.
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.