_In another colossal display of failed resource prioritization, we learned that the FBI is monitoring border protest groups like ours who are trying to shield our communities from the dangers of border militarization.
_We want to sadly welcome Maine into our world after reading their concerns about “failed southern border policies” potentially being implemented in their own back yard by a new Border Patrol Sector Chief who comes to their neighborhood from Laredo, Texas.
_SBCC allies Cynthia Pompa and Shaw Drake of the ACLU Border Rights Center sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) demanding an investigation into two closures at El Paso ports of entry last month, noting the concern “that CBP is closing ports to avoid its lawful duty to process arriving asylum seekers, particularly Mexican asylum seekers.”
_Join the Southern Arizona community and the Center for Biological Diversity Friday, Sept. 27 at 4:30 pm to protest DHS’s plans to build a border wall across the San Pedro River by RSVPing with Kate Scott ([email protected]) or Laiken Jordan ([email protected]).
_The House Judiciary Committee is holding a field hearing today Friday, Sep. 6 in El Paso to get a first-hand account of the evisceration of U.S. asylum laws and the persistent erosion of human and civil rights at the U.S.-Mexico border.
_Raider-in-chief. Back in February, after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history_and motivated by the fact that Congress refused to give him billions for his vanity wall_Trump declared a fake national emergency so he could raid $3.6 billion from key military construction projects to be used towards building said wall. This week, the administration announced the 127 military projects that would be “deferred” and_get this_they actually expect Congress to backfill the funding for these projects. Half of the money will come from overseas military projects and the other half will come from 23 U.S. states and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. They also made the laughable suggestion that the walls will help the military re-deploy to other high-traffic areas in other wall-less parts of the border. Qué what? Posse Comitatus anyone? Enforcing domestic laws is not_nor should it ever be_the job of the military. Furthermore_and blatantly_most of the money was stolen from states that have a Democratic majority. Now that wasn’t on purpose. . .right? Right.
_Vicious cycle. Next week, Congress comes back from recess to start dealing immediately with the hear-we-go-again-merry-go-round government negotiations on appropriations for fiscal year 2020. Back in June, the House passed out of committee 10 out of 12 agency budgets. On the Senate side, zilch has happened, but they are now stating an ambitious goal of marking up four spending bills a week for the next three weeks. Yeah. Not. What’s more likely is that we will see another continuing resolution passed by the end of September that will keep the government funded at the same FY19 levels until the spend gap measure expires mid-November or beginning of December. The House already announced its intent to introduce a continuing resolution. But could it be that Trump prefers this approach because a continuing resolution creates a space for so-called “anomalies,” which are a devious and backhanded way that the administration claims it needs more money because they’re already spending it. If you think about it, Trump has circumvented Congress with an emergency declaration, demanded supplemental funding, and is now providing a list of anomalies for additional funding under a continuing resolution. Some of these anomalies are outright absurd, like asking taxpayers to fund more miles of a dangerous and lethal wall or to pay farmers experiencing financial losses due to Trump’s trade war with China. Oh that’s right: Mexico was going to pay for that wall and the tariffs were going to be paid by China.
_Traumatized children. The Office of the Inspector General at Health and Human Services released two disturbing reports: (1) one describes the pain and trauma we inflicted on kids who had been ripped from the arms of their parents and our failure to provide adequate mental health services to them to help them process trauma, and (2) a second one shows the challenges of placing and retaining adequately vetted personnel in facilities for unaccompanied minors. It’s hard to read that these children are suffering from PTSD, anxiety, feelings of abandonment, anger and confusion because of Trump’s misguided and cruel policies, but read it we must. Then, we should pick up the phone or pen and share our disgust with these practices and how we need A New Border Vision that expands public safety to all, safeguards human rights, and creates a welcoming system for both border residents and newcomers.
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.