_On Tuesday, Jan. 28, Berkeley, CA became the first city to pass a resolution supporting our New Border Vision, a framework for well-functioning borders that expands public safety, protects human rights and life, and welcomes residents and newcomers (here’s the video)!
_In a campaign speech in Iowa, Trump renewed his promise that Mexico would pay for his vanity wall (through remittances, apparently); um, ok, so why is he stealing billions from military families and billions of hard-earned U.S. taxpayer dollars? (Of course, we know the wall is a horrible idea, no matter who foots the bill.)
_The Trump administration illogically added Brazilians seeking safety at our southern border to the cruel Remain in Mexico program, forcing them to stay in Mexico to await their court immigration proceedings.
_This story illustrates the challenges and opportunities experienced by Bowie High School cheerleaders who spend their formative years in binational, multicultural El Paso-Ciudad Juárez, highlighting the experiences shared by many of the 15 million people that live in the vibrant borderlands.
_Wall fail. Mother Earth is starting to exact her revenge on wall-building, wall-obsessing humans. First, we saw a KYMA tweet go viral that showed an “impenetrable” section of Trump’s vanity wall topple over onto some trees in Mexico near Calexico. Then came a WashPo front-page article that described how border walls not only have a long history of causing lethal flooding, but also a history of being susceptible to damage by flash floods. Ehhm, so...building a border wall not only costs a huge chunk of taxpayer’s dollars, but it will also cost a huge chunk of dollars to add flood gates_that need to be opened and closed seasonally_and to keep it maintained into perpetuity. Add the massive harms to people and wildlife (quotes SBCC steering committee member Kevin Bixby of Southwest Environmental Center), doesn’t it make you wonder where else the billions would be better spent? History has also shown it likely that a future generation will tear down this lethal monument to chaos and racism. So there’s that too. Pachamama is telling us to just wake up already.
_Unbridled cruelty. A year of unbridled cruelty under Trump’s wildly misnamed “Migrant Protection Protocols” (aka Remain in Mexico) was observed by many human rights groups this week including through vigils and the publication of special reports documenting the harms. American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) published the observations of almost 500 court proceedings, which documented migrants given incorrect hearing dates and Border Patrol agents putting erroneous mailing on paperwork, guaranteeing that migrants would not receive future court communications. In addition, whole families were returned to Mexico to wait, despite having clearly expressed fears of being beaten, robbed, raped, and murdered there. SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of AFSC asserted that Remain in Mexico “is part of the onslaught of irresponsible policies meant to eviscerate the asylum process in the United States.” We couldn’t agree more. It’s time to #DefundMPP.
_Lies, death, dishonor. Yep. This will be the legacy of retiring U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost, who is stepping down to be replaced by Rodney Scott, most recently head of the U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector. Read why in this hard-hitting, mic-dropping critique by SBCC ambassador and former Senior Border Patrol Agent Jenn Budd. Read how she turned a blind eye to corruption, deaths and horrors under her watch. “I and many other former and current female agents had hopes that she would tell the truth about the Border Patrol’s long history of rape culture towards its women,” writes Jenn. “Sadly, Provost apparently didn’t get appointed because she was a trailblazer, but more because she was a “yes” woman.” #Word
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 Vicki@alliancesd.org, by Wednesday COB. The Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.