In San Diego, the United States Border Patrol grabbed a girl who is 9 and a U.S. citizen and on her way to school, accused her of lying about her identity, then detained her for 36 hours. Read the rest
Another child has died in the custody of U.S. immigration officials. Felipe Alonzo-Gomez was taken to a hospital in New Mexico on Monday and released after treatment for a cold and fever. He was given antibiotics and ibuprofen. He was brought back to the hospital Monday night and died a few hours later. This is the second Guatemalan child to die in U.S. custody in December. Jakelin Caal, a 7-year-old girl died earlier this month.
Merry fucking Christmas.
CBP: 8-year-old Guatemalan child apprehended by CBP dies Christmas Day (Kelsie Blazier/ABC15.com) (Photo: CBPPhotos/Flickr) Read the rest
Evan Greer from Fight for the Future writes, "At this moment in history, it's just not okay for tech companies to support government agencies that are openly violating human rights. But while Salesforce's executives have been speaking out against US immigration policies, the company is maintaining a multimillion dollar contract with US Border Patrol. We just launched DropSalesforce.com, an open letter from tons of organizations threatening to boycott Salesforce (and Heroku) if they don't cancel the contract. We're also crowdfunding BART bus ads to run near Salesforce HQ in San Fransisco during their big yearly conference. Lots of big tech companies have contracts with ICE and Border Patrol. Salesforce could be the first domino to fall." Read the rest
The news cycle isn’t kind to stories that take a long time to be told. Sure, no one ever stops talking about Trump and his uncle Vlad, but despite it all being a part of one two-year long shit show, there’s always something new and horrific to draw the eye. Not so with stories like the ones that are still playing on on the United States’ southern border, daily. Families are still being kept apart, kids barely able to talk are being asked to defend themselves in court, and individuals seeking asylum from the dangers of their homes are being turned away by customs agents or railroaded into custody with less than legal practices.
While much of the media has turned its focus to alleged Russian spies sleeping their way into influential positions, The Texas Tribune just keeps on keeping on: their reportage on the tragedies being played out on the U.S./Mexican border is has been absolutely outstanding. But, they’re a non-profit. In order to continue to do the sort of quality journalism that they’ve been churning out of late, they could use a hand.
Right now, the Texas Tribune is raising funds to open a newsroom in the Rio Grande Valley: an area of the state that, as it’s name suggests, lays along the Mexican border by the Rio Grande River. It’s where you’ll find McAllen and Brownesville – two of the cities where DHS has been splitting up families and stashing kids away in privately operated prisons. It’s ground zero for the Trump administration’s bigoted bullshit. Read the rest
Look, we’re not all maple syrup lollipops and free healthcare up here. According to the CBC, a naturalized Canadian citizen was held against his will, without charge, for 10 months while immigration officials attempted to verify his identity.
47-year old Nigerian-born Olajide Ogunye moved to Canada with his family in the 1990s and, in 1996, he became a Canadian Citizen. But that didn’t matter to the Canadian Border Services Agency. During a sweep of his neighborhood (which, I have to admit, I had no idea that the CBSA did), Ogunye was told to produce evidence of his citizenship. So he did: His Ontario Health card and Canadian Citizenship card.
But here’s the thing: despite his producing two pieces of government identification – the gold standard for get-out-of-my-face-I’m-a-citizen, the CBSA refused to believe that Ogunye was who he claimed to be. So, without charge, they took him into custody so that he could be properly identified.
From the CBC:
According to Ogunye's statement of claim, the officers ran his fingerprints, which they said matched the identity of a man named Oluwafemi Kayode Johnson, a failed refugee claimant who had been deported from Canada to Nigeria in the 1990s.
Ogunye says he was told the CBSA believed he was actually Johnson, who had returned to Canada illegally and assumed Ogunye's identity. Those fingerprints, according to court documents, were never produced by the CBSA to Ogunye.
This shit went on for EIGHT MONTHS. Despite having not committed any crime, Ogunye was remanded to two different mixed medium/maximum security prisons. Read the rest
Ricardo Palacios, a 74-year old rancher, had gotten used to Customs and Border Protection officials tromping across his south Texas ranch lands without permission over the years. But finding a wireless surveillance camera set up in one of his trees? Not OK. Upon discovering the device, Palacios removed it immediately. It wasn't long after that he started receiving calls from CBP and the Texas Rangers demanding that he turn the camera over to them or face charges.
Having taken enough of their shit, instead of turning the camera over, Palacios gave the feds something else instead: a lawsuit.
According to Ars Technica, Palacios, who's been a lawyer for 50 years, named the two agencies and a CBP agent in a lawsuit that accuses them of violating his constitutional rights, by trespassing on his land, and setting up cameras where ever they damn well please. It's an important case: CBP claims it has a right, within a 100-mile radius of the American border, to stop people (including U.S. citizens, which flies in the face of the Fourth Amendment,) search cars and personal belongings in the name of border security, without a warrant. But this doesn't allow them to go traipsing on to private property in the name of their duties without permission. They're only allowed to do that within 25 miles of the border.
Palacios' ranch? It's 35 miles away from the edge of the U.S./Mexican border. This alone would be enough to warrant a suit against the government. But there's more:
Read the rest
As Palacios alleges in the civil complaint, his interactions with CBP began in April 2010 when his two sons were stopped at a checkpoint along I-35.
Two sisters who were trying to escape violence and poverty in Guatemala for a better life “became so desperately lost trekking across the Texas desert that when they saw a U.S. Customs and Border Protection truck, they waved for help,” reports the Los Angeles Times. An officer in that truck later confined them by force, and sexually assaulted them, one by one. Read the rest
Hurrah for the Sonoma County Sheriff deputy who took no guff from a Border Patrol officer who headed for a disabled parking spot at a NASCAR race— than flashed his badge when caught. Not everyone gets a ticket: sometimes they're just told to get lost. Sadly for this gentleman, his bully move earned a fine: according to KRON, up to $1075. Read the rest
Ashley Cervantes, a US citizen who was 18 at the time, was stopped at the Mexico border and accused by Customs and Border Protection of smuggling drugs. A search proved fruitless so they gave her a body cavity search. US Customs and Border Protection still couldn't find the drugs they were looking for so they took her to a hospital for an X-ray. No drugs. Read the rest