_SBCC co-chair Christina Patiño Houle talks about the much-needed legal support the community can receive from the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid in the times of COVID-19.
_It could be that way more than 14,400 people are still waiting in Mexico to present an asylum claim in the United States, because most of the “metering” lists have been closed.
_SBCC steering committee member Lilian Serrano of Alianza Comunitaria reminds us of the digital divide that exists among some community members, interfering with their children’s ability to finish school.
_SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of American Friends Service Committee is quoted in this story about the creative ways in which we protest in the times of the novel coronavirus pandemic while demanding for the release of immigrant detainees.
_A big shoutout goes to Senate Judiciary Democrats, including Sen. Kamala Harris, for writing a letter raising concerns and asking questions about Trump's basis for granting himself sweeping powers to expel an unknown number of people, including asylum seekers, at the border without processing.
_Trumpus Doofus. Hard to believe that given what the world is dealing with right now, Trump is still being a bit of a doofus with his obsession to build his vanity wall_even if that places the lives of workers and our communities at great risk. New Mexico Senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall spoke out against the installation of “man camps” in the rural and remote town of Columbus that will house up to 60 border wall construction workers. New Mexico leaders_including SBCC co-chair Johana Bencomo of Comunidades en Acción y de Fé (CAFé) and SBCC steering committee member Kevin Bixby of Southwest Environmental Center_have also called on the Governor to close these “man camps” and halt border wall construction. U.S. Representatives Raúl Grijalva and Ann Kirkpatrick, from Arizona, and Filemon Vela, from Texas, along with House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson, also called for a halt to border wall construction as a public health measure in response to COVID-19 (story quotes SBCC steering committee member Ricky Garza of the Texas Civil Rights Project and yours truly). Just think, how many ventilators_that hospitals cannot afford_could be built with money diverted from border wall construction? We know the wall is bad news for the environment and wildlife, but as a vector for disease it’s just bad all around. Just stop, already.
_Unbelievable. We couldn’t think of another way to describe this horrific complaint of abuse filed by the ACLU of Border Patrol officials who completely ignored a pregnant woman in their custody (trigger alert) who went into labor and partially delivered her baby into her pants. We want to thank House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for calling for an immediate investigation into this case. No doubt this agency has had a long and sordid history of committing abuse against people in their custody and even against their own agents, and each of these are completely and utterly unacceptable. We need a New Border Vision and definitely CBP accountability.
_Standing for all. While grateful that congressional members have quickly put together and passed three supplemental stimulus packages to address the economic crisis felt by so many families in the United States because of COVID-19, these initiatives have failed to help some of the most vulnerable among us: immigrants. Many of these immigrants are at the forefront of the response: nurses taking care of the ill, restaurant workers preparing and delivering food, grocery store workers, and more. This is why we want to thank Representatives Raúl Grijalva, Judy Chu, and Lou Correa and Senators Mazie Hirono and Kamala Harris for introducing the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act. We need more initiatives like this.
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. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.