Border Reality Checkpoints will take place at the following locations and times today:
California: San Ysidro Port of Entry, 1:00 pm PST
Texas/New Mexico: Santa Fe Bridge Port of Entry, El Paso, TX, 12:00 pm MT
Texas: Gateway Port of Entry, Brownsville, Texas, 3:00 pm CT
Visuals: Participants will wear orange vests and Revitalize Not Militarize shirts at the checkpoints. Some will hold signs that read, "Know Your Rights" while others will speak with people crossing the ports of entry to encourage them to report abuse. See previous checkpoint actions held in San Ysidro and El Paso.
Social Media: #DignityCrossing #CruzaConDignidad
US Southern Border Region: Today, organizations from across the southern border that form the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) will conduct Border Reality Checkpoints at 3 ports of entry to inform residents of their rights. The event is part of an ongoing, border-wide Dignity Crossing campaign to encourage border residents to report abuse by federal officers.
Every day, thousands of drivers and pedestrians cross at international ports of entry. Many are not aware of their rights or believe they don't have any, thus, these crossing points become zones where residents feel stripped of their rights. The checkpoint actions aim to reverse this reality by reminding individuals of their right to be treated with respect for human rights, documenting instances of abuse, and holding CBP agents and officers accountable.
"When CBP officers discriminate against, humiliate, treat with suspicion, or physically, and verbally abuse citizens and residents alike, they create a first impression of our country that runs contrary to our values of fairness, equality and justice," says Vicki Gaubeca, Co-Chair of the SBCC and Director of the ACLU New Mexico's Regional Center for Border Rights. "Mistreatment is not the welcome home treatment we deserve."
Pedro Rios, Director of the American Friends Service Committee in San Diego, California, says "Everyone should be treated with dignity at our ports. We're inviting individuals border-wide to tell us their stories so they know that they're not alone and can join communities in the push for greater accountability and oversight of CBP."
"The border region is home to tremendous cultural and economic exchange where we as workers, families, students, tourists, members of the LGBTQ community, and shoppers should be treated with dignity and respect," says Brooke Lyssy, Border Rights Fellow at the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network in Brownsville, Texas. "For many of us, crossing at our nation's ports of entry is coming home, and we deserve a proper welcome."
The Dignity Crossing campaign is an initiative of the Southern Border Communities Coalition's ongoing efforts to revitalize, not militarize border communities and aims to inform residents of how to protect their rights, speak up about abuses, and join efforts to demand reforms.