What the what?

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_A Congolese mother who was seeking safety in our country along with her husband and two children became the 101st person to die while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the past decade. 

_Trump’s Administration_and by proxy the Border Patrol_is failing to take responsibility for creating policies that force people to cross the border in dangerous places, notes SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of the American Friends Service Committee; the Administration seems to be willing to expose migrants and border agents alike to dangerously toxic substances.

_Ever wonder how taxpayer dollars are spent in the bloated and anti-immigrant DHS/ICE/CBP/ORR boondoggle? Turns out Democrats have abetted this process.

_SBCC ally Cynthia Pompa of the ACLU Border Rights Center was interviewed in this powerful Frontline report, “Targeting El Paso,” which illustrates how misconceptions about our vibrant borderlands have fed into violent racism and the toxic militarization of our homes.

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_What the what? A fresh version of what-the-what craziness in Trump’s (anti) asylum policies was confirmed by DHS in this story about how Mexicans seeking safety in the United States will now be shipped to Guatemala to apply for asylum there, a country that  has failed to provide safety to its own citizens. Talk about making people jump from the frying pan into the fire. However, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales_whose term ends in a week_said that wasn’t part of the Asylum Cooperative Agreement (ACA) signed by Trump and the outgoing Guatemalan administration last July. The Mexican government is also objecting to the policy.  At press time, there was a rumor that outcry about this program has forced DHS to put it on hold. We’re hoping common sense prevails and that this rumor holds true, permanently.

_The “I”s Have It. While the media hyper-focuses on Iran and Impeachment, we’ve been greatly disappointed by a 5th Circuit Appeals Court ruling that lifts an injunction against Trump’s ability to raid $3.6 billion from military construction projects to build his senseless and harmful border wall. We’re not going to let this stop us, however, from pushing back against this ridiculous monument to racism. Which is why we want to thank Rep. Raúl Grijalva for writing a letter to DHS demanding to know why the agency hasn’t properly consulted with members of the Tohono O’odham Nation to determine the negative effects a wall will have on their access to water and to their sacred lands. Trump’s border wall is not only dangerous to the lives of border communities and endangered wildlife, it is also an affront to our community’s values. We’ll say it again, “Tear down this wall, Mr. Trumpachev.”

_MPP anniversary. As we near the one-year anniversary of Trump’s Remain in Mexico program (inaccurately named the Migrant Protection Protocols), we learned that the Trump administration expanded the program to Nogales, Sonora, where asylum seekers will have to wait and then make the long trek to Ciudad Juárez to attend their immigration hearings in El Paso, Texas. SBCC steering committee member Joanna Williams of Kino Border Initiative, explains how this expansion will make “already vulnerable people [ . . .] homeless.” Wow, let’s see if we can make it any harder for people to seek safety at the doorstep of our honorable nation. National Public Radio further reports how these so-called protocols are resulting in more harms to people seeking safety at our borders.  In fact, just this week an asylum seeker from Mexico committed suicide after being refused entry into the United States in Texas. These policies are not only a betrayal of our values, but they also push desperate people to the brink. This is not an anniversary to celebrate. 

_DACA renewal time is now. Between now and June 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide on the future lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth in this country and their families. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to protect our beloved people from Trump’s cruel deportation force. If you’re a DACA recipient, please renew your permit before your DACA expires. If you’re a human being, please consider calling your elected congressional members and urge them to pass into law a measure that offers permanent protections for all immigrant youth, temporary protected status recipients and their families. The Dream and Promise Act, by the way, was passed by the House last June. So focus on your U.S. senators first. And, btw, DACA is not just a work permit, it’s what keeps our families and the fabric of our communities together. Please support #HomeIsHere.


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.


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