_SBCC ally John Michael Torres of La Unión del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) describes the (unmet) hopeful expectation that the visit of Vice President Pence to the Border Patrol facilities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley would result in the improvement in the conditions of confinement for individuals detained in these facilities.
_SBCC co-chair Johana Bencomo of Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé) notes her concern related to Trump’s appointment of new judges in the southern border federal district courts that would result in an increase in prosecutions for people crossing between ports of entry, possibly for the lifetime of these judges.
_While San Diego wasn’t on the 10-city list for ICE raids, at least 20 people were swept up by ICE raids and placed into detention, which has created considerable fear and mistrust in Southern California communities, as noted by SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of American Friends Service Committee.
_Not surprising that CBP denied an account by a vulnerable family that a Border Patrol agent asked children which of their parents they would like to go with after threatening separation; CBP basically denies any wrongdoing as noted at a House Oversight and Reform Committee held on Thursday on Capitol Hill.
_The Pentagon announced that they will be sending 2,100 more troops to the U.S.-Mexico border; despite the fact that border communities are fed up with more military presence, whether it’s in the form of National Guard or active-duty troops.
_Rinse and repeat. If there’s a clear and predictable pattern to Trump, it’s this: he creates a wave of indignation to a perceived problem or threat, often by tapping people’s fears about immigrants or other groups of people or countries, comes up with half-baked ideas that create more chaos and confusion, and then blames others for the problems he has helped create. Take his latest asylum rule that bans asylum-seekers who have passed through other countries en route to the United States from claiming asylum_ in clear violation of US and international laws. Sounds a lot like the Muslim ban, the border wall, and government shutdown that came with it, the slow motion collapse of the Iran deal, the threat of tariffs with Mexico, and even his racist attacks against four women of color who are elected members of Congress (which was_frankly_a new, horrible low). His new asylum policy was so hastily put together that asylum agents had little to no time to prepare and had no idea how to implement it, as wrongheaded as it is. But you see, that’s the whole point: create chaos, burn the house down, and then rebuild it to his image; a true and evil act of rinse and repeat.
_ BP is for breaking point. Out of all of the investigative stories that have exposed Border Patrol’s endemic and systemic culture of corruption, abuse and impunity, it would be safe to say that Politico’s “The Green Monster” (2014) would be at the top of our list. It’s a classic. Now the author, Garrett M. Graff, is back with a follow-up piece of sorts titled “The Border Patrol Hits a Breaking Point.” The story connects the most recent stream of scandals at Border Patrol_ from the racist and mysogists comments made on a secret Border Patrol Facebook page and the minting of a commemorative coin mocking the idea of taking care of children, to the dozen of migrants that have died while in the agency’s custody since September, along with accusations of sexual abuse, to the agency’s dysfunction over the last two decades. We have been saying it all along: we need to urgently reign in this out-of-control agency for the sake of our communities and for those who travel through our region. The only difference now is that the country is finally waking up to the realization that we need to patrol the border patrol. And better yet, maybe we give the job to another agency that is staffed with health professionals, social workers, trauma specialists, asylum officers, etc., that can provide a more welcoming approach.
_Turned on its head. So as we’ve mentioned before, policies like the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (aka Remain in Mexico), family separations, increased criminalization of migration, and just about any policy that Trump can come up with, have only fed into the creation of a humanitarian crisis at our border. We should also flag that it is now taking much longer to become a legal immigrant and a deliberate shift in the focus of civil servant jobs who are processing immigration applications away from their actual jobs and towards supporting ICE enforcement and deportation practices. That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Adding insult to injury this story describes how Trump broke the immigration courts. More reasons why we should be pushing for a New Border Vision.
_Whirlwind Week. This week, we sent a passionate group of activists to Washington, DC, to participate in back-to-back meetings with congressional offices, including congressional leadership, and national immigration and progressive groups to share our New Border Vision that strives for a 21st Century, common-sense, effective border governance model. We also presented a congressional briefing about the New Border Vision that was sponsored by Arizona Representative Raúl Grijalva. Please reach out to your elected officials far and wide to promote this New Border Vison, a model that will facilitate fiscal responsibility, make our communities feel safe, and provide a welcoming system for 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.