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When Bigotry Goes Unanswered Human Rights Abuse Becomes The Answer

MARGEURITE MAINS

There is ongoing human rights crisis at Border. The history of the Borderlands is long and complex. Currently, the southern border of the US has been militarized and the seekers and migrants have been demonized. They have been criminalized, traumatized, and dehumanized.  

Peoples are fleeing government corruption, drug cartels, violence and poverty. The aggressive border policies are inhumane. Children being taken from their parent(s). Although there is a ban on “family separation”, the separations are still happening. Clearly this is kidnapping. Detention center conditions are deplorable. People are in cages with little to eat, sleeping on cement floors, nooses in cells, and unable to shower. Makeshift camps in border towns are without water, electricity, proper sanitation and there is food insecurity. Violence is rampant in the camps.  

The current immigration laws are designed to push people to enter Illegally and either be criminally prosecuted or die trying. Policies like “Remain in Mexico” have reshaped the state of asylum. Many asylum seekers and families have been kidnapped and assaulted after being sent back to Mexico, sometimes within in hours of crossing back. There are documented cases of rape, assault, kidnapping and more heinous crimes after being sent back. Peoples returned to Nogales, Mexico must go to Juarez, Mexico for their hearing. No longer able to wait in US for their hearing makes it nearly impossible to receive legal assistance. They are not transported and must find their own way. The drug cartels control a 100 miles corridor across Mexico to the US Border. This area is known as the “death corridor”.  Juarez is now considered the most dangerous place in the world.  

As Homeland Security Today ( trade magazine) stated there is a treasure trove of profit in the border control market. Billions are being spent on border enforcement and monies being made on privatized detention and enforcement. In 2017 GEO Group and CoreCivics earned 985 million from combined contracts from ICE. The vast majority of detainees do not have criminal records. The money game TRUMPS justice and dignity.    

The Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy toward asylum seekers has heightened the human rights abuse yet it barely registers at the periphery of the media’s gaze. Since 2001, more than 3000 recorded migrants have died in the Southern Arizona desert. Deterrence is not preventing deaths, it is part of the escalation. The number is upwards of 8000 across the southern US Border. Many believe that those lost and unidentified makes the death toll impossible to determine. Men, women and children fleeing for their lives are dying on American soil.  Their deaths were preventable. How could this be possible? In the face of these deaths and the ongoing suffering created by Border polices we are called to act.  

Where is the incentive to stop this human rights abuse? The answer is ourselves. The little I have described are crimes against humanity. I believe it is our right and moral obligation to take action.  

Please join me in a Civil Intiative. Civil Intiative is the legal right and ethical responsibility of civil society to protect the victims of human rights violations when the government is the violator – and to hold the government accountable. Civil Intiative seeks to do justice rather than petition others to do it.  

How far would you walk to feed your family?  

Marguerite Mains
The Coalition for Border Justice
Marguerite@thecoalitionforborderjustice.org

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