Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Period. Punto.
SBCC joined the DefundHate Coalition with this statement and 400 immigrant justice organizations and ally groups in signing a letter in support and solidarity with our Black brothers and sisters. As communities across the country mobilize in a call for justice, we are deeply troubled that CBP, the largest police force in the nation with a disturbing track record of death, abuse, and impunity, has taken advantage of this moment to further strengthen their militaristic posture which they think legitimizes their practices against people of color. In case you still don’t get racism and white privilege, we recommend reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Prince Carmen Jones, ¡presente!).
_SBCC steering committee member Lilian Serrano of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium joins allies in calling Border Patrol to close checkpoints during the COVID-19 pandemic as these interfere with the ability of border community members to access health care services.
_SBCC steering committee member Andrea Guerrero of Alliance San Diego speaks about the need for an independent investigation of deaths in ICE detention related to COVID-19 (Carlos Escobar-Mejia, ¡presente!) and thanks U.S. Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Juan Vargas (D-CA), U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) for calling “to bring transparency and oversight to a preventable tragedy.”
_ICYMI: Last week, SBCC member Alliance San Diego held a digital press conference to discuss the Anastasio Hernandez Rojas Mural Project, which resumed production on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Anastasio’s brutal killing at the hands of CBP agents.
_The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General released a report that revealed that during a two-month period in 2018, the Trump Administration separated more than eight times more children from families than they had previously admitted.
_A year ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act (HR 6), which provides a path to citizenship for the more than 2.5 million Dreamers and TPS/DED recipients but it is currently stalled in the Senate.
_This concerning report by Witness at the Border notes ICE’s irresponsible and dangerous seeding and spreading of COVID-19 around the detention system via “shuttle” and deportation flights.
_Show of Farce. It was utterly revolting to witness Trump’s tyrannical call for a show of farce_after criticizing governors for their “weakness”_ against protestors demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless more Black lives.
Trump called out just about every alphabet soup of federal law enforcement agencies_including the FBI, DEA, ATF, TSA, Bureau of Prisons, National Park Service, ICE and CBP_ along with the military, to surround the White House (aka, the People’s House) in an attempt to “protect” himself against people exercising their freedom to peaceably assemble and express themselves. This would be a disgusted eye roll if it wasn’t so darn harmful and undermining to our democracy.
The good news is that some in the military seem to know more about the Constitution than Trump and appear to push back against this BS.
Meanwhile, CBP went hog wild and crazy and hopped happily into action, sending agents to patrol demonstrations and vigils in DC and other cities and surveilling protests in Minneapolis with one of their predator drones. Maybe there is, after all, no need for their jobs if they can effectively turn on a dime and deploy their troops into other parts of the country to attack Americans who are only speaking freely?
We have long suspected that CBP has had a hankering to be a police force that operates well outside the border region and across the country (as noted in this blog from SBCC ambassador and former Border Patrol agent Jenn Budd), and now they can’t seem to hide their eagerness that it might become a reality_especially with a President who totally has their back. We should remember that Border Patrol's BORTAC has already been deployed across the country. They can do this only because the Border Patrol questionably asserts extraordinary powers not just in the border region but across the country_and especially within 100 miles from a land or maritime border. Click here to find out if you live in the border region (e.g., Washington, DC). SBCC ally Shaw Drake of the ACLU Border Rights Center also questions CBP’s involvement in the protests.
As noted earlier, we should remember that CBP has a dangerous and deadly track record of abuse, death and impunity, which begs the question of why would agents known for police brutality be deployed to address protests against police brutality?
Learn more in this statement, this blog and a second one when CBP deleted a tweet showing Border Patrol agents sitting and standing defiantly (and repulsively) at a George Floyd memorial in San Diego, CA.
On a final note, we think it’s curious that Trump has erected a wall around the White House. Hmmmmnnnnn….. too much to say, not enough time.
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. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.