What’s Really Going on in the Southern Border

The Southern Border region is one of the most diverse, economically vibrant, and safest areas of the country, home to about 15 million people. It is a place of hope and opportunity, not fear and conflict. President Trump is throwing a tantrum and now threatening to declare a national emergency by spewing blatant lies about the border and our communities in a sinister attempt to justify his deadly, wasteful and harmful border wall. President Trump is wrong to use federal workers and their families, along with asylum seekers, immigrant youth, border communities or anybody else as political bargaining chips for a hateful campaign promise. The only crisis we see in our communities is one stemming from excessive, unchecked militarization - and a humanitarian crisis of Trump’s own making.

This is what we know to be true along the southern border:

Southern border communities are among the safest in the nation, according to FBI statistics. In fact, the southern border region, which includes such cities as San Diego, CA, Douglas, AZ, Las Cruces, NM, and El Paso, TX, are among the safest in the country. There is no evidence to support Trump’s misguided attempts to create a crisis where there isn’t one.

The southern border is an engine of economic growth. The Southern Border is a key engine of economic growth; an international trade hub that creates jobs and generates wealth across the country. The families that live across the southern border aspire to live in peace and harmony, working and raising families just like other families across the nation.

The southern border is a place of hope and opportunitynot a place of confrontation, hate, and out-of-control militarization. Trump is manufacturing a crisis in one of the most vibrant regions in our nation to fulfill a campaign promise based on hate and fear. Border communities have already endured 700 miles of walls built in our towns, neighborhoods and even backyards.  We know firsthand that there is no national security emergency at the border, only the one that exists in Trump’s mind. Walls and hyper-militarization don’t make us safer, but do hurt the 15 million people who call the southern border region home, endanger wildlife and the environment, and are a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars.

There is no emergency at the border, but instead a humanitarian crisisand it is a crisis of Trump’s own making. Apprehension rates at the southern border are at historic lows - and the majority of those seeking entry at our southern border are families and kids fleeing from spiraling 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—tearing kids from their parents, tear gassing toddlers, and attempting to close legal channels for individuals to apply for asylum.

Southern border residents don’t want a wall, and neither does the rest of the country. Poll after poll has shown that southern border communities reject the notion of building more walls with their southern border neighbors. For example, over 30 cities and counties in the southern border region have issued resolutions opposing border wallsAll nine congressional representatives serving border districts oppose more border wall funding. According to a recent poll, 65 percent of the people who live here do not want a wall. Instead, they want to revitalize their communities with better K-12 education and other policies that revitalize, not militarize our communities.


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Southern Border Communities Coalition is a program of Alliance San Diego.


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