_This news story shows another facet of the #MeToo movement and the uphill struggle for justice for immigrants who experience abuse at the hands of immigration authorities and border agents.
_SBCC steering committee member Rosa Sanluis of Fuerza del Valle talks about how victims of wage theft have been placed at risk for deportation or had their lives threatened by unscrupulous employers in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
_Sen. Mitch McConnell says there is only a small chance for a government shutdown in December over border wall funding --event though we know that even $1.6 billion for wall funding is a colossal waste.
_Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) introduced a crazy-pants bill, which fully funds Trump’s vanity border wall and threatens to incarcerate families with children and asylum seekers, as part of a shameful attempt to vie for House leadership top spot and garner support from the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus.
_Put your thinking caps on. We’re close to a midterm election so it behooves us to not trust everything we hear and read. We’re not saying it’s all “fake news,” but it might be useful to use some critical thinking. Take for example, the recently reported September increases in border apprehensions numbers (please note that a good number of these folks just turned themselves in). A DHS spokesperson was quick to jump on these numbers, blaming the increased numbers on families taking advantage of “loopholes” that prevent DHS from deporting families and kids as quickly as they’d like. This doublespeak about “loopholes” is really about getting rid of laws that protect children from indefinite, inhumane detention. Let’s look at the whole picture. Back in the early 2000s, more than 1.5 million people were apprehended at the southern border with half the number of Border Patrol agents and far fewer surveillance technologies and miles of border wall. By the end of fiscal year 2018, the numbers of apprehensions will be less than a third of that (400k apprehensions), even with this increase.
_Parallel plots. The increase in people making their way across our southern border may be due to a variety of reasons. The weather cooling down, for instance. Deteriorating conditions in Central America getting worse due to spiralling violence or economic hardships, as SBCC steering committee member Joanna Williams of Kino Border Initiative notes in this article in the New York Times. Another contributing factor could be that CBP officials have been creating a bottleneck in Mexico at the border by refusing entry of asylum seekers at ports of entry (which, btw, has forced many to cross between ports of entry). Even some Mexican officials might be collaborating with U.S. officials to make asylum-seekers lives hell. Read the latest blog written by SBCC steering committee member Michael Seifert of the ACLU of Texas to get an on-the-ground sense of what’s happening at our ports of entry in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Suddenly letting into the country held-back asylum seekers might create the theatrical illusion of a so-called surge, no?
_Political reality show. Let’s face it. Sometimes the happenings at the White House feel like a reality show. Like this story that claims that the increase in apprehension rates at the border led to a shouting match between White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and National Security Advisor John Bolton. This was followed by a statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders that said, “While we are passionate about solving the issue of illegal immigration, we are not angry at one another.” And then, “However, we are furious at the failure of Congressional Democrats to help us address this growing crisis...” Bingo! There it is...
_Rising Action? Then news of a caravan of thousands of Hondurans coming to the U.S. border to seek asylum prompted Trump to threaten a military intervention at the border if Mexico didn’t stop the caravan. He also blamed the caravan on the Democrats and threatened to withdraw U.S. financial aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador if they did not stop the caravan. All this drama is strangely timed to near the midterm elections. “What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out.” (Alfred Hitchcock)
_Stay tuned for next week’s episode. The only way to get rid of this awful political theater is to get rid of the bad actors by voting them off stage. Vote early now or get geared up to vote November 6. Please stand strong with us to #HoldCBPaccountable and #RevitalizeNotMilitarize our communities.
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.