Warming up to justice - August 10, 2018 - border_lines


_SBCC steering committee member Joanna Williams of Kino Border Initiative comments on the sudden, but welcome, reduction of wait times for asylum seekers at the Nogales port of entry.

_It was “completely irresponsible” that the Trump administration was okay with deporting more than 400 parents without a plan to match and reunify them with their children, notes SBCC steering committee member Christina Patiño Houle of Rio Grande Valley Equal Voice Network.

_If you’re a Border Dreamer and your head is spinning because of all the court rulings on DACA, a timeline put together by the National Immigration Law Center may help make sense of it all; and here is a summarizing graphic created by United We Dream.

_We’ll take your threads: Almost half of uniforms purchased by DHS, including Border Patrol’s uniforms, are made south of the border.


_Warming up to justice. The argument that a person killed while standing in Mexico by a Border Patrol agent standing in the United States has no constitutional rights has always seemed astonishingly unreasonable and cold. It’s like saying that because the bullet landed in another country, it’s outside of the jurisdiction of U.S. courts, and, basically, the agent can get away with murder. Finally this week, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling has warmed up to a better version of justice for the family of a teenager shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent in one of the most high profile cross-border shootings by stating that the family has standing to sue the federal government for damages. José Antonio Elena Rodríguez was shot 10 times in the back through the border fence by Border Patrol Agent Lonnie Swartz in October of 2012. José Antonio was walking on the Mexican side in Nogales, Sonora. Swartz was criminally charged for the killing, but was found not guilty of second-degree murder in April 2018. He still faces a new trial for manslaughter. The welcome ruling gives Araceli Rodríguez, the mother of José Antonio, the right to sue in U.S. courts. Read our statement here. Since January 2010, more than 70 people have died after an encounter with a CBP officer or Border Patrol agent, including six Mexicans_three of whom were teenagers_who were standing in Mexico when a Border Patrol agent in the United States shot and killed them. Not a single agent in these cross-border shootings has been held accountable for these deaths.

_Cold hearted. For years, we’ve heard people complain about the excessively cold temperatures in Border Patrol short-term custody holding facilities and how they are given ineffective aluminum blankets to keep warm. The government standards require the holding cells be kept between 66 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Really? We think 66 degrees would feel like a version of torture to many. This article breaks it down.

_A hot mess and worse than a $200 hammer. This report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows how the Trump Administration wasted at least $20 million of taxpayers money on eight border wall prototypes_none of which worked or even took into consideration the terrain. (Qué what?) Making matters worse, Congress is currently considering two Fiscal Year 2019 spending bills for homeland security: a Senate bill that would gift Trump $1.6 billion for his vanity wall and a House bill that would gift him $5 billion. They shouldn’t spend another dime until a proper assessment is made and the needs of the 15 million people who call the border home are considered. More than 60 percent of Americans, and 72 percent of borderlanders, don’t want a wall. A border wall is ineffective, costly, and harmful to communities and wildlife, including endangered species.

_Getting the hot seats. CBP made a historic appointment this week by selecting Deputy Chief Carla Provost as the 18th Border Patrol chief, the first woman to ever hold that position. She had served as acting chief for more than a year. In related news, and illustrating the growing influence of Border Patrol inside DHS, former Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello was nominated by Trump to head ICE. If confirmed, Vitiello will strengthen Trump’s deportation force using the Border Patrol’s tactics, including separating children from their parents or stopping without a warrant borderlanders on their way to school, a doctor’s appointment or the grocery store.

_No call to action this week since Congress is on recess. But get ready to start pushing back against more funding for Trump’s vanity wall and to push for more accountability and oversight of CBP, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency. #RevitalizeNotMilitarize


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.

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