NOTE: Because of the 4th of July weekend, we will not be sending out an issue of Border_Lines next week.
_BREAKING: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on our case today that President Trump’s attempt to circumvent Congress and transfer $2.5 billion in military pay and pension funds for border wall construction is unlawful.
_SBCC steering committee member Alba Jaramillo of Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors spoke about police brutality targeting Black and Brown lives after the Tucson Police Department released a gruesome video showing how the police mistreated Carlos Ingram Lopez (presente!) before his tragic death.
_After the positive SCOTUS rulings last week, we got a bad one this week, which will permit authorities to expel asylum seekers via expedited removal without providing the opportunity for judicial review.
_Border Patrol should stop risking more lives and once and for all ban high-speed car chases after seven of ten people tragically died when the car they were in crashed while being chased by Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas.
_We were angered to learn that the Pentagon approved an extension of troop deployment at the border into 2021.
_Politics over Lives. There are countless examples of Trump putting politics (and his own vanity) before the health and safety of the public, from hosting indoor rallies during a global pandemic, to jeopardizing the wellbeing and health of borderlanders and workers by continuing full-speed with wall construction_even after several construction workers tested positive for COVID-19_to the monstrous wall itself, which has lead to further destruction of wildlife and the loss of human life. Trump’s egotistical disregard for life_as a way to improve his re-election chances_is appalling. Borderlanders certainly felt this disregard when_despite a major spike in COVID-19 cases across Arizona_Trump visited Yuma in an attempt to pivot attention towards his vanity border wall project. Yuma, Arizona, has seen coronavirus cases quadruple since the beginning of June, and border wall workers have continued working_and getting sick_even as border community residents have urged the administration to stop construction. While 29 states face significant increases in COVID-19 cases and the country continues to rise for racial justice, the Trump administration is prioritizing wall construction in desert wilderness, precious refuges, and private property_costing the taxpayer billions of dollars on a wasteful campaign prop. Wall construction, and the continued militarization of our region must be stopped. Instead, we must move towards policies that revitalize our communities, respect human rights and protect our beloved borderlands. We don’t need no stinkin’ wall.
_Police Reform Injustice. After weeks of public uprisings demanding police accountability and the divesting of police resources to be redirected towards investments in community wellbeing instead, three federal-level police reform initiatives have failed to meet expectations. First, Trump issued a do-nothing executive order that included large loopholes for choke-holds and a police misconduct national database. The order also failed to address qualified immunity, a major loophole in police brutality accountability. Then, Senate Democrats (thank you!) blocked the passing of a toothless police reform bill. Then, the House passed a strong policing bill that will, unfortunately, go nowhere in the Senate. We need to do better than this. Congress should stop turning a deaf ear to the millions of people demanding racial justice, police accountability, and people-first investments in our communities. Congress needs to continue to make even stronger and bolder police reforms that hold all law enforcement accountable, including CBP_the largest federal law enforcement agency with a long history of police brutality and abuse. The strong accountability measures should include limiting the warrantless powers of CBP officials within the 100-mile border zone_which, btw, include NYC, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These reforms also should include a cause of action for the hundreds of people who have suffered police brutality at the hands of CBP law enforcement officials. When do we need it? Now. #BlackLivesMatter
_SCOTUS Notice. Last week, we enthusiastically noticed three unexpected SCOTUS rulings that seemed to poke at the proverbial Trump eye (and ego, particularly his anti-LGBTQ and anti-immigrant stances). The first SCOTUS ruling prohibits employers from discriminating against their LGBTQ employees. The second ruling preserved SB 54 in California, a state law that bans local law enforcement from enforcing federal immigration laws (story quotes SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee). The third ruling stated that the manner in which the Trump administration eliminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was unlawful for failing to follow procedural requirements. This decision was a major, but temporary, victory for immigrant youth, who have lived with uncertainty since Trump attempted to rescind DACA in 2017. The decision affects the more than 700,000 DACA recipients in the US, including the 1 in 5 DACA recipients who live in the border region, and the approximately 27,000 DACA recipients who work as healthcare workers on the front lines of combating COVID-19. While this is a significant reprieve for immigrant youth, it is clear that the Trump Administration is obsessed with institutionalizing its hateful rhetoric and deporting immigrants who are part of the fabric of this nation. As noted by SBCC steering committee member Andrea Guerrero of Alliance San Diego, during this November election, immigrant and border communities urge voters to back policies and politicians that protect immigrant communities, expand public safety, and uphold the dignity and human rights of all.
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.