_ The parents of Claudia Patricia Gomez Gonzalez, an indigenous Maya Mam woman from Guatemala who was shot and killed by a border patrol agent, filed suit against the agents responsible for her death leading up to the second anniversary of her death with still no answers or justice.
_SBCC Co-Chair Johana Bencomo calls for support for immigrants and asylum-seekers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
_ SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios with American Friends Service Committee and other partners hold a vigil to honor Carlos Ernesto Escobar, the first known person to have died of COVID-19 while in ICE custody at the CoreCivic-owned Otay Mesa detention center.
_Waive our protections goodbye. Border communities know far too well that this Administration is more than willing to sacrifice the health, safety and wellbeing of our lands and communities to construct more of his hateful and deadly border wall. This week, the Trump Administration issued his 25th waiver of bedrock laws to build more dangerous and wasteful border wall in Webb and Zapata counties in Texas. For those keeping track at home, this would be the 30th overall (that’s right, 3-0) waiver. Each waiver applies to dozens of federal laws, including the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Clean Air Act, Solid Waste Disposal Act, and the National Fish and Wildlife Act. The Southern Border Communities Coalition, alongside our partners the Sierra Club, the Texas Civil Rights Project, and Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network issued a statement condemning the actions_read it here.
But the heinous acts don’t stop there: like a villain from a movie, the Trump administration is suing an orphanage (you read that right) to gain access to land for further border wall construction, all to build more deadly border wall that destroys sacred lands doesn’t make border communities safer. Let’s wave goodbye to these harmful policies instead.
_Border Restriction Blues. Amid the new normal that people all over the world are contending with during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing policies that harm the most vulnerable of our communities. The Trump Administration has used the pandemic as a pretext to bypass immigration laws and effectively seal the border to those seeking refuge and quickly expel asylum seekers and unaccompanied children. Since March, only two people seeking humanitarian protection at the southern border have been permitted to stay. Although that cruel move was initially presented as temporary, the Administration’s true intentions are made bare by recent moves to continue the blockade indefinitely. Meanwhile, border agents are operating without personal protective equipment, not following social distancing guidelines, and completely disregarding best practices for keeping potential exposure to COVID-19 to a minimum. These double standards are an indication that Trump’s Executive Order isn’t about protecting the people in our country, it’s about further punishing immigrant communities, and separating families. Now more than ever, we need a #NewBorderVision
_Let’s rethink our borders. The fear and uncertainty of the current global pandemic has been abused by the current administration to push wrongheaded and hateful policies that hurt border communities and waste billions of taxpayer dollars that could be used to help our communities through this difficult time. We need to put a stop to enforcement-only policies, and move towards a framework that expands public safety, upholds human rights, and welcomes all people to our borders. Now is the time to call your legislators and tell them enough is enough — we need a New Border Vision. Join us in our movement to create better borders.
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.