SOUTHERN BORDER REGION – Today, Speaker Paul Ryan [R-WI] of the U.S. House of Representatives is visiting McAllen, Texas to meet with Department of Homeland Security and Border Patrol officials.
In response, leading members of the Southern Border Communities Coalition in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, issued the following statements:
Juanita Valdez-Cox, Executive Director of La Union del Pueblo Entero and member of the Equal Voice Network, said the following:
“Speaker Ryan’s border tour is nothing new. We’re all too familiar with congressional delegations dropping into our region for photo shoots, yet failing to meaningfully engage with the millions of constituents who call the border region home. Choosing to exclusively meet with the Border Patrol and other law enforcement officials shows a complete disregard for the concerns of the millions of people who have suffered discriminatory policing at the hands of our nation’s largest police force–U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”
Astrid Dominguez, Policy Strategist of the ACLU of Texas, added the following:
“Our stories cannot be told from the sole viewpoint of law enforcement officers. We, the people of the borderlands, are experts on the region’s economic and cultural history and must be invited to the table to discuss policies that will impact our families, communities and daily lives. We know we are strongest when we build bridges, not walls, with our neighbors. The American people deserve commonsense border policies that reflect our shared values and uphold the dignity of border residents. This starts with ensuring that our nation’s safest communities remain so by creating trust in law enforcement through greater transparency and meaningful accountability and oversight of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”
The Southern Border Communities Coalition brings together more than 60 organizations from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas, to ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region. For more information, please visit www.southernborder.org.