Israeli Arms Maker Picked To Build Prototype Of Trump’s Border Wall

netanyahu-pena_nieto

By Ali Abunimah for The Electronic Antifada – An Israeli arms maker has been picked by the US Department of Homeland Security to build a prototype of the wall President Donald Trump has vowed to build along the full length of the US-Mexico border. Elta North America is one of eight firms that will receive about $300,000-$500,000 each to build test versions of the barrier. Trump now says his wall will be “see through,” suggesting an emphasis on fences and electronic monitoring, rather than concrete. Construction of the prototypes is expected to begin this fall near San Diego. The company is the Maryland-based subsidiary of Elta Systems Ltd., which is owned by one of Israel’s leading arms companies, Israel Aerospace Industries. Elta is not the only Israeli firm that pitched itself to build Trump’s wall. Magal Security Systems, a company that has helped Israel isolate Gaza from the outside world, earlier expressed its interest in winning the contract.

School Of Americas Watch Border Encuentro Coming Up

unnamed

By Katherine Henao for School of Americas Watch. If you’re an immigrant like me, you know how hard it is to be the constant scapegoat of the United States – that those of us who come to these borders are blamed for problems caused by the U.S. and the U.S. alone. It might be hard to comprehend how violent U.S. policies in Latin America are, because we are taught to think that war is the only significant cause of devastation. But economic and trade policies have wreaked significant violence and essentially caused forced migration – something the U.S. is not willing to admit.

Stop The Border Surveillance Bill

biometrics

By Adam Schwartz for EFF – EFF opposes a new federal bill that would dramatically expand dragnet biometric and other surveillance of U.S. citizens and immigrants alike at and near the U.S. border. Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) introduced S. 1757, styled the Building America’s Trust Act, in August. EFF’s opposition letter objects to the following provisions of the bill: Biometric Border Screening. The bill would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect biometric information from all people who exit the U.S., including U.S. and foreign citizens. This would entrench and expand DHS’s existing program of facial recognition of all international travelers who take certain outgoing flights from U.S. airports. EFF opposes such biometric border screening, given the sensitivity of biometric information, the threat it will be stolen or misused, and the hazard of mission creep. Collection of Immigrants’ DNA. The bill would require DHS to collect DNA and other biometric information from “any individual filing an application, petition, or other request for immigration benefit or status.” EFF has long opposed dragnet biometric surveillance of immigrants. DNA surveillance raises special concerns, because DNA can expose sensitive information about familial history and health issues.

California To Sue Trump Administration Over Plan For U.S.-Mexico Border Wall

Flickr/ Jonathan McIntosh

By Patrick McGreevy and Jazmine Ulloa for Los Angeles Times – California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra plans to announce a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of the state that will challenge President Trump’s proposal to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, a project Becerra has called “medieval.” Becerra is scheduled to travel to Border Field State Park near San Diego to announce that a lawsuit is being filed in federal court over construction of border wall projects in San Diego and Imperial counties. The lawsuit, which includes the California Coastal Commission as a plaintiff, states its purpose is “to protect the State of California’s residents, natural resources, economic interests, procedural rights, and sovereignty from violations of the United States Constitution” and federal law. It adds that the wall would have a chilling effect on tourism to the United States from Mexico. The state’s lawsuit alleges that the Trump administration has failed to comply with federal and state environmental laws and relied on federal statutes that don’t authorize the proposed projects. The brief alleges the federal government violated the U.S. Constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine “by vesting in the Executive Branch the power to waive state and local laws, including state criminal law.”.

Poignant New Artwork Shows Little Boy Peering Over U.S.-Mexico Border

Twitter/@JRart

By Lee Moran for The Huffington Post – “Is this boy looking over the border worried that if things get crazier on the other side, people will massively cross the border in his direction?” A street artist from France has created a thought-provoking piece of art on the U.S.-Mexico border. JR shared a snap of his new work in progress ― an enormous portrait of a young boy playing on the Mexican side of the border ― on Twitter on Wednesday. The striking image has since gone viral on Reddit.

US-Mexico Border Convergence Webinar Series

1soaw1

By School of the Americas Watch. The SOA Watch movement began as a response to the call of solidarity to the people affected by the political, economic, and military US intervention in Central America during the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, the patterns of violence and forced migration established during the dirty wars of the 20th century have continued unabated. How do we respond to this reality? How do we build a shared analysis? In order to respond to these questions and create bonds of solidarity and resistance, SOA Watch invites you to participate in a series of webinars leading up to the Encuentro, to listen, learn and stand up in active solidarity with communities that challenge the militarization of the border. Our first webinar is this Thursday, July 13 at 8:00 pm ET.

Marijuana Legalization Is Decreasing Violent Crime In Border States

JOHN VIZCAINO / REUTERS
A new study found that states with legalized medical marijuana in 2013 saved $165.2 million in national Medicare program and enrollee spending.

By W. E. Messamore for IVN – In a paper published by The Economic Journal last month, a study by the Norwegian School of Economics in partnership with the Pennsylvania State University Department of Sociology and Criminology, found that marijuana legalization has led to a decrease in violent crime in U.S. states that border Mexico. Over the past several years, sweeping reforms to marijuana policies have reached a tipping point with legal medical marijuana now in more states (currently 29) than those that continue to prohibit the sale and consumption of the plant for medical or recreational purposes. The paper‘s authors say that not only is there a strong reduction in violent crime related to illegal drug trafficking in states and counties that border Mexico, but that when an inland state legalizes medical marijuana, there is a measurable reduction in violent drug trafficking crimes in the nearest border state: “We show that the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) leads to a decrease in violent crime in states that border Mexico. The reduction in crime is strongest for counties close to the border (less than 350km), and for crimes that relate to drug trafficking. In addition, we find that MMLs in inland states lead to a reduction in crime in the nearest border state.”

No Nukes, No Wars, No Walls, No Warning

SUNDAY_CARD1_WEB-98-750x499

By Mike Bass for Peace and Planet – A conference making the links between nuclear abolition, social and economic justice and moving the global economy to a path in balance with the planet’s ecosystems. The process that initiated negotiations for a ban on nuclear weapons has raised awareness of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons. But despite growing mobilizations for social and economic justice and moving the global economy to a path in balance with the planet’s ecosystems, in the nuclear-armed states there still are no significant movements for the elimination of nuclear weapons. To build a global movement to abolish nuclear weapons, we must also better understand and raise public awareness of the renewed danger that nuclear weapons could be used in warfare. And if this movement is to garner enough power to be successful, it must make common cause with those working for a world that is more fair, more democratic, and more ecologically sustainable.

Cost Of Trump’s Wall Compared To Programs He’s Proposing To Cut

A man walks through the United States-Mexico border gate into Tijuana, Mexico, from San Ysidro, California, in 2012. (Sandy Huffaker/Corbis via Getty Images)

By Joe Sexton for ProPublica – The fiscal 2018 price for President Trump’s border wall is in: $2.6 billion. That’s a cost to U.S. taxpayers, not a cost many people any longer think will be picked up by the Mexican government. As first installments go, it’s a pretty big number. Indeed, its size can be appreciated in one powerful way by setting it against some of the many budget cuts Trump proposed this week. One year of spending on a border wall is the equal of, well, the federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting plus the $231 million given to the country’s libraries and museums plus the $366 million that goes to legal help for the poor.

We Want To Welcome! Barcelona Demands Open Borders For Refugees

No Borders, No Nations, Stop Deportations by Mike Alewitz. From CreativeResistance.org.

By Carlos Delclós for ROAR Magazine – On February 18, over 160.000 people took to the streets of Barcelona to demand that the Spanish government and the European Union accept more refugees. The build-up to the protests was spectacular, with the city and Catalan regional governments working together with broad citizen platforms to put the phrase “We want to welcome” (Volem acollir) on everybody’s lips. For several weeks, leading politicians including Barcelona mayor Ada Colau and Catalan president Carles Puigdemont lambasted Spain’s current policies towards refugees. One week prior to the protest, a special concert was organized by a campaign called Casa nostra, Casa vostra (“Our house, your house”), not in a civic center or public square but in an Olympic stadium. The event was aired on Catalan public television and featured major Catalan artists and cultural figures.

Tohono O'odham Nation Tribal Leaders Say Wall With Mexico Will Not Be Built On Their Land

Public Art In Philadelphia Tells The Stories Of The Undocumented

By Carrie Jung for KJZZ – Tribal leadership of Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona said they won’t support a border wall project on their land. Part of their reservation extends into Mexico and covers 75 miles of the international border. The tribe’s chairman and vice chair said the plan was always to try to work with whoever holds the office of the United States President. But, they added, it’s still too early to tell exactly how Donald Trump’s administration will impact the tribe. Vice Chairman Verlon Jose explained tribal members have traversed their ancestral land since time immemorial, and a wall of any sort would not be supported by the community.

Judge Orders Border Patrol Provide Short Term Detainees With Basic Necessities

Above Photo: From waterprotectorlegal.org

By Aaron Reichlin-Melnick for Immigration Impact – A federal judge ordered the Border Patrol to immediately cease its practice of refusing to provide basic amenities to people detained in Border Patrol holding cells in Tucson, Arizona. The judge cited evidence that shows that detainees are kept in freezing holding cells—often called “hieleras” or “iceboxes” —for days without any access to showers or basic hygiene and are forced to sleep on cold concrete floors with only a thin Mylar sheet. On November 18, Judge David C. Bury ordered the Border Patrol to immediately begin providing any detainee held for more than 12 hours with a mattress…

How To Erase Border, Moms 4 Peace & Miami Model’s Police State

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 10.37.25 AM

By Eleanor Goldfield of Occupy – This week, a wall is a wall until it’s – the sky? Ana Teresa Fernandez shows us how we might view things differently, simply through the application of color. Next up, I’m not one to celebrate a corporatized holiday but this mother’s day, leave the chocolates behind and stand up for peace. And finally, ever wonder where the idea for our militarized police came from? Trial, error and a determined piece of low life scum. But first, poetry Can.

Women Bridge Divide Between Koreas By Crossing The DMZ

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 2.41.06 PM

On May 24, International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament, I will be one of 30 women from 15 countries who will engage in a historic march from North to South Korea, crossing the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) — an ironic misnomer since the DMZ is flanked with cluster bombs, landmines, armed troops, barbed wire and surveillance equipment, making it the most militarized border in the world. This will be only the third time in 70 years that an international group has crossed this border. We will also hold international peace symposiums in both Pyongyang and Seoul where we can listen to Korean women and strategize about peace initiatives. The women involved in Women Cross the DMZ include peace activists, writers, professors, lawyers, gender equality advocates, former diplomats, UN representatives, and humanitarians.

Tomgram: Aviva Chomsky, What's At Stake In The Border Debate

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 8.58.25 AM

Call it irony or call it a nightmare, but the “crisis” of Central American children crossing the U.S.-Mexican border, which lasted for months amid fervent and angry debate, is now fading from the news. The media stories have been legion, the words expended many. And yet, as the “crisis” leaves town, as the sound and fury die down and attention shifts elsewhere (even though the children continue to arrive), the real factors that would have made sense of what’s been happening remain essentially untouched and largely unmentioned. It couldn’t be stranger — or sadder. Since late June 2014, the “surge” of those thousands of desperate children entering this country has been in the news. Sensational stories were followed by fervent demonstrations and counter-demonstrations with emotions running high. And it’s not a debate that stayed near the southern border either. In my home state, Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick tearfully offered to detain some of the children — and that was somehow turned into a humanitarian gesture that liberals applauded and anti-immigrant activists decried. Meanwhile the mayor of Lynn, a city north of Boston, echoed nativists on the border, announcing that her town didn’t want any more immigrants. The months of this sort of emotion, partisanship, and one-upmanship have, however, diverted attention from the real issues. As so often is the case, there is so much more to the story than what we’ve been hearing in the news.