The art of the cave - January 25, 2018 border_lines

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_Check out our most recent blog that illustrates lessons learned after the Secure Fence Act of 2006 that taught us why a wall is a terrible idea.

_Our border is not on fire: check out these facts that disprove Trump’s deceiving statements about our communities.

_These Texas sheriffs say crime rates along the border are among the lowest in the nation and clearly oppose border wall.

_Even low-flying insects and birds could be at peril if more wall is built along the U.S.-Mexico border.


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_ The art of the cave. It wasn’t long ago that Trump tweeted “We will not cave!” in response to his government shutdown. Wait, actually, that was only one day before he actually caved and agreed to provide back-pay to federal workers and reopen the government for three weeks to allow for more budget negotiations on the border wall. The move was doubly unexpected because this week alone, he offered temporary relief for some DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients in exchange for a $5.7 billion wall, 2000 ICE officers, 750 Border Patrol agents, and the gutting of asylum laws and protections for immigrant children. Several SBCC steering committee members and allies spoke out against this self-negotiated, fabricated “solution,” including Border Dreamer Itzel Guillen Maganda. You can read our statement here. Then after his proposal thankfully failed a vote in the Senate, Trump turned around and threatened to issue an executive order to raid funding from as many government agencies as possible_to the tune of $7 billion_for his harmful and costly wall and further border militarization. Maybe his “un-caving” stance changed after he saw that his shutdown tactics had only strengthened polling against a continued government shutdown for a wall (a CBS poll showed 71% of voters opposed) and contributed to falling approval ratings. To boot, even conservatives were growing weary of his wall obsession. Maybe he can write a sequel to his best-selling book. We suggest “The art of the cave.”    

_What will a 3-week sequel bring? During his announcement that he would agree to reopen government, Trump also renewed his threat to use emergency powers and shut down the government if he didn’t get funding for his dangerous and preposterous wall. As we noted in our statement, we don’t expect that Trump has learned any lessons, which is why it will be important that congressional members continue to hold firm against funding any further militarization of the southern border. We know that walls harm communities, kill wildlife, throw billions of taxpayer dollars down the drain, and frankly, don’t represent the values of our nation, or the southern border region. Lawmakers should keep this in mind as they stand against Trump’s epic tantrums and mobster-like ransom tactics in the name of his destructive and devastating push to further militarize the southern border region. New book title: The Art of Lessons Not Learned.

_Shout out to congressional members who stood strong. We thank Democratic members of Congress, especially Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, for standing firm in the face of President Trump’s tantrums and refusing to fund his deadly and wasteful wall. We also want to give out a huge shout out to Southern Border Democratic Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) for representing their border communities and voting “no” against the Trump proposal that would have given Trump a $5.7 billion wall in exchange for a lame three-year extension of protections for some DACA and TPS recipients whose protections Trump had taken away in the first place. We issued a “vote no” recommendation on Trump’s proposal.  We also want to give another big shout out to the following Republican Senators who put country before party and voted for the House-passed continuing resolution to reopen the government and provide disaster relief: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Mitt Romney (R-UT), even though that bill failed to capture the minimum 60 votes needed to pass.

_Limbo policy. In a move that strikes us as an undiplomatic overreach and possibly a violation of domestic and international law, the Trump Administration announced new so_called “Migrant Protection Protocols” that will expel some asylum seekers after they are processed for asylum by U.S. authorities and are given Notices to Appear in court to present their case up to a year later. This will force asylum seekers_namely Central Americans_ to return to and wait in Mexico where they could face additional harm and persecution. Not good.

_Help us stop a bad ending. You know, things are happening at breakneck speeds and we’ll continue to fight for a good ending to the wheeling and dealing saga, but one thing we know for sure. No matter what, Trump will continue to make unreasonable and ill-informed demands for more border militarization and dumb walls. And every time he does, folks will see a president who not only has no consensus-building leadership skills but who is pushing our country towards the edge of a precipice. The question is, will Congress_an independent branch of government_ perform some checks and balances to stop enabling this madness? A cooler counter vision would be a country that stands for diversity, inclusion, and compassion. Call your congressional member and tell them to #DefundHate and revitalize our nation instead.


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.

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