_We were one of more than 200 organizations that sent a letter to congressional leadership in advance of the December 7th expiration of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget, calling for Congress to take bold steps to cut funds for the border wall, detention beds and agents from the overinflated DHS budget and instead support immigrant communities already suffering under the Trump administration’s bloated immigration enforcement apparatus.
_SBCC steering committee member Pedro Rios of American Friends Service Committee expressed concern that troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border might escalate violence.
_SBCC steering committee member Christina Patiño-Houle of Equal Voice Network counters a false narrative about why people are coming to seek a safe haven in the United States.
_SBCC steering committee member Mike Seifert of ACLU of Texas notes how troops deployed to the border creates a (false) illusion that there is a pressing threat.
_You don’t bring a sledgehammer to a negotiation. Writing from Washington, D.C., we’re again noting bullying tactics in Trump’s negotiation strategy, something akin to bringing a sledgehammer to the table, all for his singular obsession for a harmful and dangerous wall and further border militarization. We hope Senator Schumer will refuse to allow any more funding for a wall. Even the $1.6 billion proposed by the senate bill is ridiculously high and puts the entirety of the Lower Rio Grande Valley at risk of being completely walled off, affecting the local economy and prime ecotourism sites like Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park_a popular site for birders_and the National Butterfly Center. Cutting off these parks will not only risk the lives of protected and endangered species in these regions but also undermine the source of livelihood for community members who live in part of the lowest income neighborhoods in the state. Still, we’re entering a sketchy negotiation process where the debate is currently between $1.6 billion, $5 billion, and $25 billion. Kinda reminds us of a Banksy auction, in the sense that all that money may be spent to shred our communities.
_Manufactured disasters over real ones. Devastating hurricanes. Deadly tropical storms. Record-breaking wildfires. It seems like every few weeks communities across the nation are grappling with crises caused by an ever-increasing number of natural disasters. Yet as entire communities are wiped out and the need for disaster funds becomes ever more critical, Trump remains obsessed on spending our country’s finite dollars on a wasteful border wall that only serves his political agenda. His manufactured crisis on the southern border is based on the false premise that we need to send troops to stare down asylum-seeking families with children. But the real crises are in communities across the nation devastated by natural disasters that need help to heal and rebuild, and in communities that have suffered decades of neglect in basic infrastructure needs. Think, for example, what these billions would mean for homeowners in Paradise, California, where at least 10,300 homes and other structures were burnt down to the ground by the Camp Fire. Instead of spending billions of dollars for Trump’s vanity wall, how about spending it on disaster recovery like we say in this video. Remember that there are hundreds and thousands of lives upended and structures destroyed by Michael, Florence, and the Woolsey Fire. Manufacturing a crisis at the southern border is a slap in the face to the real needs of our nation.
_(At least) 10 reasons why border walls don’t work. In case it still hasn’t sunk in why border walls are harmful to our communities, we put together a list with 10 reasons (of many) why border walls don’t work, along with a short video. Also, if you don’t know what the militarization of the border already looks like, here’s a reality check.
_Join us in saying no. We joined forces with Credo on a petition against the border wall, please sign it and help us circulate. So far, more than 75,000 have signed on. They agree that #WallsDontWork. Isn’t it time to #RevitalizeNotMilitarize our border communities?
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.