_SBCC steering committee member Christina Patiño Houle from the Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network, talks about the dangerous flooding Trump’s walls will create in already vulnerable areas along the border.
_Human Rights First has published a new report on the implementation of the ‘Remain in Mexico’ scheme, the findings of which reveal what we all already knew: this scheme is very bad news.
_The militarization of the southern border didn’t happen in a day; it’s been a decades-long push to make one of the safest and most vibrant places in our nation look like a war zone. Check out this in-depth look at the history of the modern border fence, and how it affects the conversation surrounding border militarization today.
_Kudos to our partners in El Paso who rallied powerfully against Trump’s nasty push for border militarization at the March for Truth. The fight is far from over, but we’ve shown Trump that we’re more than ready to defend our communities. Pa’lante y Pa’rriba!
_U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to build a massive migrant processing center in El Paso, which they say will help cut down on families being held in cells. This looks like a “more cells equals more detentions” situation. We say, “No means no_no wall, no cells, no exceptions.”
_Trump: The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Reminding us of a certain boy, Trump declared a national emergency that is purely a figment of his imagination. Worse, he’s using this political stunt so he can fulfill a misguided campaign promise to build a wall based on ignorance, hate and fear. We know firsthand that there is no national emergency at the border. Apprehension rates here are at historic lows — and the majority of those seeking entry are families and kids fleeing from violence and poverty. Instead of responding to the increase of families and others seeking protection by strengthening capacity to process asylum claims, the Trump administration is spurring a humanitarian crisis through vindictive policies - ripping kids from their parents, tear-gassing children, and attempting to close legal channels for individuals to apply for asylum. His power grab to raid funds_to the tune of $8 billion_that Congress allocated to military and other spending is an egregious and possibly illegal step that again demonstrates this administration’s disregard for the checks and balances that are integral to our democracy. Congress should respond with a true emergency bill that bans the practice of declaring a national emergency_where there is none_for self-absorbed political gain.
__A Complicit Congress. Unfortunately, Congress fed into Trump’s rhetoric by passing a Fiscal Year 2019 spending package that included $1.375 billion for 55 miles of border wall in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas and added about 5,000 immigration detention beds. On the bright side_provided Trump’s administration actually listens to Congress and obeys the law_is that the bill protects wildlife refuges, a historic Catholic chapel, and the National Butterfly Center from having a wall built through them, bans the practice of handcuffing pregnant women in detention, expands the alternatives to detention, and has no increase in Border Patrol or ICE agents. But really, Congress should be cutting funds for ICE and CBP instead of rewarding them for their abusive practices, an example of which was cause for a recent ACLU lawsuit. The over-bloated budget for these two agencies is now almost $23 billion ($7.6B for ICE and $15B for CBP)_more than the budgets of FBI, DEA, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals, and ATF combined. Think about what $23 billion would mean for our schools, health care, and roads and bridges. Here’s looking at the Fiscal Year 2020 negotiations.
_Two down, two to go. Please send a big thank you to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for championing border communities and withdrawing National Guard from New Mexico’s border stating, “New Mexico will not take part in the president's charade of border fear-mongering by misusing our diligent National Guard troops." Only a week later, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he would pull National Guard from the southern border, saying, "This border emergency is a manufactured crisis...California will not be part of this political theater." In a time where Trump will stop at nothing to push his violent and hateful agenda, it is heartening to see our border leaders take a stand, and say enough is enough. We hope to continue to see a wave of lawmakers rising to stop the havoc the Trump Administration is wreaking. Remember: there is strength in numbers.
_Love the borderlands. Although the borderlands contain some of the safest places in the nation, places full of encounter, hope, and opportunity, we don’t get to spend a lot of time talking about how wonderful they are. Instead, we’re stuck fighting Trump’s fake nightmare rhetoric that fails to show what our beloved borderlands really are. Well, Valentine’s day was yesterday, and we thought we’d show some love to our main squeeze, the southern border region. Check out this blog, listing just a few of our favorite things about the place we call home. Feel the love for our borderlands.
_Wanna help? In this time of moral reckoning, it is critical that we push back against the hateful rhetoric and abuse of presidential power that Trump has been employing. Our democracy depends on it. Call your legislator, and tell them to stand strong against Trump’s dangerous overreach. There is no ‘emergency’ in the borderlands, and Trump’s power grab isn’t just harmful to our southern border, it’s rocking the foundations of our democracy to its core. It’s up to us all to stop the damage he’s doing. All for one, one for all.
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.