From the Ignacian Solidarity Network:
THE BEGINNING OF THE END
BY JOSÉ ARNULFO CABRERA | August 7, 2020
On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the manner in which the Trump Administration ended the DACA program did not adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), ruling that the Administration must reinstate DACA to its original 2012 form. This was a surprising ruling that my fellow immigration advocates and I did not expect. Thousands have waited for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to share when they will begin to accept new applications and advance parole applications, but they said nothing. Then on July 17, a federal judge in Maryland ordered the Trump Administration to begin accepting new DACA applications. Instead of doing so, the Administration took the first step to permanently ending the DACA program.
Last Tuesday, July 28, USCIS issued a memorandum on DACA. Acting Secretary Chad Wolf wrote, “…given my serious concerns about the policy, I have determined that some changes should immediately be made to the policy to limit its scope in the interim.” He announced that as of the 28th;
In April, I received my DACA renewal, which is valid until 2022. My grandfather passed away in mid-March and my grandma’s spirit might leave her body soon, but because of COVID, I could not go say my goodbye to her even if I was legally able. This memorandum personally doesn’t affect me much. But in the last few days, I’ve received many calls from young undocumented youth wanting to get information about applying for DACA. The Monday before the memorandum was issued, a faculty member of a Jesuit high school shared that they were working with the school to help pay for their student to apply for DACA.
According to the Center for American Progress, 55,500 undocumented youth who aged into eligibility for DACA were stripped of the chance. 55,500. That is 55,500 stories, lives, and dreams—Americans who we are denying the chance to fully participate in our society. And for five of them, I had to tell them through a cell phone that they couldn’t apply anymore.
What angers me the most is that so many people seem to misunderstand that this is the beginning of Trump ending DACA. Instead of doing what the highest court in the land told them—and a federal judge in Maryland—they have started to strip the program. Many news sources, including Spanish news sources, used confusing headlines that made it seem that the Trump Administration will allow DACA to remain for another year. I understand that immigration policy, law, the entire system is confusing and has only become more so in the last few years. But every single pro-immigration advocate said over and over in the hours after the memorandum, “this is the first step in ending the program.”
The positive ruling from the Supreme Court was short-lived and has left me with a bitter taste. My undocumented community received a difficult hit. My undocumented community is hurting. I’m hurting. My undocumented community is exhausted from consistently living on the defensive because of this anti-immigrant and white supremacist agenda. I’m exhausted.
James Baldwin once wrote, “Hope is invented every day.”
I’ve spent more time with immigrants than with citizens. What I’ve learned from my immigrant siblings is that finding hope during the hopeless moments in life. We might feel exhausted but we are far from done. The fearlessness and relentlessness of my undocumented community is my new hope.
José Arnulfo Cabrera: José Arnulfo Cabrera is the director of education and advocacy for migration for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. He is a 2018 graduate of Xavier University, a DACA recipient, and an immigration activist. He previously worked with the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he provided training on lobbying, organizing, and immigration policy, as well as shared his own immigration story, and as a government relations associate with NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice in Washington, D.C.
From our friend, Paul Barby in Tucson:
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At least a half-dozen Border Patrol trucks, along with agents on ATVs, are set up outside the camp, according to Paige Corich-Kleim, a volunteer with Tucson-based No More Deaths. The surveillance started around 9 a.m. Thursday and was ongoing as of early Friday afternoon. Agents set up a checkpoint just outside the camp and are searching vehicles as they leave.
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From our friend, Paul Barby: No More Deaths sent this out. It is an outrage. Sue
July, 31, 2020
We wanted you to know about this breaking development in our work:
U.S. Border Patrol entered our humanitarian aid camp near Arivaca, Arizona, yesterday without a warrant, detaining one person, in a clear prioritization of an enforcement only strategy, while migrants were seeking medical aid and respite.
As we write this, agents are currently surrounding and surveilling the property on the ground and in the air, and have not obtained a warrant.
PLEASE CALL TUCSON STATION BORDER PATROL and demand that they stand down and respect humanitarian aid at (520) 514-4700.
Sample script: My name is _____ , and I’m calling to demand that Border Patrol stand down from the No More Deaths humanitarian aid station and stop interfering with lifesaving aid during a record-breaking heat wave.
Temperatures in the area are currently surging over 100 degrees consistently. Our work becomes even more vital in the midst of this heat wave and Border Patrol’s actions are a clear and flagrant obstruction to people receiving lifesaving humanitarian aid.
This escalation comes only a day after No More Deaths/ No Más Muertes released documents revealing that the Border Patrol union (a pro-Trump, anti-immigrant, extremist organization) provoked a June 2017 raid of our camp, calling in support from the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), the agency’s special operations unit, which was also recently deployed to Portland, Oregon.
Border Patrol has always been aware of our work at our aid camp and we have continued to maintain open lines of communication with them. The camp is on private property and we have always exercised our rights against warrantless searches.
We have long experienced and documented Border Patrol’s interference with our humanitarian aid work. In Part II of our report series, Disappeared: How US Border Enforcement Agencies are Fueling a Missing Persons Crisis, we document a pattern of interference with humanitarian aid. In the report, we argue that Border Patrol’s obstruction of humanitarian aid is not an anomaly, but is rather a logical extension of a border enforcement strategy designed to push people into life-threatening danger and use death as deterrence. This report can be read here. In addition, a video summary of the report can be seen here.
As Part II of the series discusses, Border Patrol agents have surrounded, surveilled and raided our camp on several occasions, most recently in June 2017 - until yesterday.
During the June 15, 2017 raid, Border Patrol agents conducted a military-style raid on our medical aid camp, after surrounding it for 48 hours. Just like yesterday, the raid took place in the midst of a record heat wave, with temperatures reaching well over 100 degrees. And once again, yesterday, during the most dangerous time of year in the borderlands, the Border Patrol’s resources were focused on policing a humanitarian aid station. As we explain in the report:
“These actions by Border Patrol create an atmosphere of fear and tension in a place where injured, ill, and often deeply traumatized people come in need of medical aid and respite. As one volunteer has stated, the raids and surveillance “destroy . . . the environment of safety that camp requires in order to help people with healing.” In addition, migrants in need of medical care can be frightened away and deterred from seeking help at the camp if they believe it will result in their arrest. For them, this means continuing to walk rather than seek help, potentially under conditions of severe dehydration and untreated injuries or illnesses.”
We believe that the unimpeded provision of lifesaving humanitarian assistance is essential and that Border Patrol should let us do our work in peace, in accordance with International Red Cross standards and protocols.
Next month, we will release the third report in the series, titled Left to Die: Border Patrol, Search & Rescue, and the Crisis of Disappearance. For a summary of the full report series, please go here.
If you’d like to help us continue our work, please consider giving a gift here now.
If you can’t give, we appreciate your support - please call the Tucson Border Patrol Office at the number above and demand that the Border Patrol stand down and let us continue to do our aid work.
Thank you for being with us during this challenging time.
The No More Deaths/ No Más Muertes community
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