Texas exes

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_Janine Buoey, an Army veteran living in San Diego and a former police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, sued U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) because their officers allegedly committed sexual abuse and racial profiling against her while she was crossing back into the United States from Tijuana (story quotes SBCC steering committee member Andrea Guerrero of Alliance San Diego). 

_People seeking protection at the U.S.-Mexico border have been displaced to more dangerous neighborhoods in Tijuana after the city shut down a migrant camp, known as El Chaparral, south of the San Diego San Ysidro port of entry (story quotes SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee).

_Tune in to this great interview of SBCC steering committee member Uriel Rosales of New Mexico Dream Team to learn about how they work to empower New Mexican undocumented youth to create positive change in their communities. 

_The family of Carmelo Cruz-Marcos (¡presente!) — a 32-year-old father of three — is rightly demanding an independent and transparent investigation into his homicide at the hands of a Border Patrol agent near Douglas, Arizona, on February 19.

_The Department of Homeland Security recently published an Interesting internal analysis of domestic violence extremism — the contemporary largest terrorist threat — that may exist among their ranks and provided recommendations to implement policies and create a monitoring and prevention system. 

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_Texas exes. Nope, we’re not talking about our exes living in Texas. We’re talking about the absurd political stunts being pulled off by Texas Governor Abbott that deserve Huge Exes!  X, X, X! To begin with, he loves to corroborate Border Patrol propaganda by sending National Guard and Texas Rangers to the border; charging migrants with trespassing as a way to further criminalize migration, and exploiting Texas taxpayers and private donors to continue building a lethal vanity border wall à la Trump. The latest two stunts are: (1) asking Texas Rangers to inspect trucks crossing into the United States at Texas ports of entry and (2) busing migrants to Washington, DC. Wow, anything to gain political points, no? Because, you know, the root of these political stunts come straight from a Trumpian playbook: inspire fear to get people out to vote. Will it work? We sincerely hope we’re better than this. 

Interestingly, CBP is chiming in on both stunts. CBP recently issued a statement asking Texas Rangers to stop inspecting trucks at ports of entry. Why? Because it is causing traffic jams,  seriously delaying x-ing times, and is, quite disturbingly, disrupting the supply chain. Yes, that same supply chain we’re all complaining about that is contributing to inflation. Umm, that’s a big nix nay.

On Gov. Abbott’s stunt of sending buses full of migrants to Washington, DC, even CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus objects and notes that CBP officers are doing a fine job and don’t need Texas’ helpC’mon Mr. Abbott, can’t you work on getting reelected with a message of hope and compassion, instead of brokering fear? Washington is not scared of this tactic as noted by DC Councilmember at-large Anita Bonds and by Congressional Rep. Sylvia Garcia (from Texas), who stated:

“The very idea that [Abbott] thinks he should get involved… Put them [migrants] on a bus paid for by our taxpayers, all the way up here to Washington, D.C. to just make a political point. It’s just a political stunt. And it’s worse. It’s shameful, because we’re talking about families, we’re talking about children. People that are fleeing violence or fleeing poverty.”

E‘nuf said. What side do you want to land on?

_Chicken, chicken. It really feels like chickens running around and screaming “the sky is falling” after President Biden announced that Title 42, a public health law that was used to stop people from lawfully applying for asylum at our border, would be lifted on May 23. Ironically, this announcement — made on April Fool’s Day, no less — certainly seemed like the proverbial acorn that fell on the chicken’s head. And, frankly, it’s truly pathetic how there has been a bipartisan chicken, chicken response to this announcement. Republicans love to loudly claim that lifting Title 42 would be the demise of our country (really?), while moderate Democrats in tough reelection bids hate the optics of being accused of supporting the boogeyman of “open borders.”

Here are just the facts, m’am. But we know that many folks don’t believe in facts because they prefer to adhere to a xenophobia that was normalized by the former administration. In fact, this article talks about how this skewed rhetoric injects irrational (and racist) fear into the minds of voters and how that bends towards misguided political election campaigns. If you know enough about our country’s history, it’s literally deja vu all over again.

What really gets missed in the political rhetoric is that border communities, and other communities nationwide, have thousands of volunteers who stand ready to staff local shelters, receive people seeking safety with dignity, offer them warm meals, medical assessments, a shower and a place to sleep; and help make transportation arrangements for people to reunite with theirfamilies or sponsors in U.S. communities. 

It’s embarrassing when you think that Poland, which is half the size of Texas, has been able to receive with dignity the lionshare of Ukrainian refugees (2.7 million of 4.7 million refugees). 

Furthermore, the enormous decline in numbers of immigrants coming to the U.S. has resulted in our nation’s labor market shortages. Essential industries like construction, health care, trucking, and assisted living facilities simply can’t find workers. Talk about cutting off one's nose to spite one's face. 

We need a New Border Vision that not only brokers hope but creates a new border management model that protects human and constitutional rights, expands public safety for all, and welcomes all people who live, work or travel to the region with dignity. Yeah, ¡sí se puede!


border_lines is published every other 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. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.


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