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Borders

International Delegation In Cairo Demands Opening Of Rafah Border

We are an international delegation of writers, lawyers, journalists, activists, students and organizers who arrived in Cairo, Egypt, this week with the goal of reaching the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to exert pressure to open the border for the immediate entry and sustained flow of urgent humanitarian aid — food, water, fuel and medical aid to 2.3 million Palestinians facing starvation and death as genocidal Israeli airstrikes continuously pound defenseless civilians. In response to the Palestinian and Arab calls for civil society to challenge Israel’s deadly occupation by heading immediately towards the Egyptian-Palestinian crossing to bring urgent humanitarian relief to 2.3 million people, we have just submitted a request to the Egyptian authorities for permission to travel to Rafah. 

Latin America Meets To End US Hostile Policies That Drive Migration

Migration is not a new phenomenon. For centuries, the world’s population has moved from one place to another with a common motivation: the search for a better future. However, in recent decades, the numbers have soared dramatically and dangerously, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of opportunity, poverty, violence, climate change, and, especially, the rise of unilateral sanctions by great powers against their “rival” nations, which are almost always at an economic disadvantage. Dialogue on this issue cannot be postponed. The humanitarian crisis on the US-Mexico border is growing by the day.

How Europe Outsourced Border Enforcement To Africa

When Cornelia Ernst and her delegation arrived at the Rosso border station on a scorching February day, it wasn’t the bustling artisanal marketplace, the thick smog from trucks waiting to cross, or the vibrantly painted pirogues bobbing in the Senegal River that caught their eye. It was the slender black briefcase on the table before the station chief. When the official unlatched the hard plastic carrier, proudly unveiling dozens of cables meticulously arranged beside a touchscreen tablet, soft gasps filled the room. Called the Universal Forensic Extraction Device (UFED), the machine is a data-extraction tool capable of retrieving call logs, photos, GPS locations and WhatsApp messages from any phone.

Asylum For Sale, Profit And Protest In The Migration Industry

On the heels of last week’s North America Trilateral Summit, from which not much changed within the migratory system, today’s episode will focus on migration as a for-profit industry which has turned migrating humans into commodities. Our guest Adrienne Pine is co-editor of the book Asylum for Sale:  Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry published by PM Press in November 2020.  Here is brief description: Through essays, artworks, photographs, infographics, and illustrations, Asylum for Sale: Profit and Protest in the Migration Industry regards the global asylum regime as an industry characterized by profit-making activity: brokers who facilitate border crossings for a fee; contractors and firms that erect walls, fences, and watchtowers while lobbying governments for bigger “security” budgets; corporations running private detention centers and “managing” deportations; private lawyers charging exorbitant fees; “expert” witnesses; and NGO staff establishing careers while placing asylum seekers into new regimes of monitored vulnerability.  Humanity is not for sale, and no one is illegal.

Border Crossings, Government Harassment, And How To Protect Yourself

Austin, Texas - Last weekend, an activist from Austin was detained at the Austin airport by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon reentry to the U.S. after traveling abroad. They were held for about 3 hours and questioned about their political beliefs and associations and their protest activities. CBP also searched their phone and likely copied the entire contents of the phone for later analysis. We are releasing this statement to shed light on this aspect of government surveillance, harassment, and repression, and to provide important lessons for other activists to better protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities in the future. CBP is a large but seldom discussed federal law enforcement agency with broad powers at the border and ports of entry, including all international airports. The more notorious Border Patrol is a division within CBP, whereas ICE is a separate agency.

Nation-States Are Destroying The World

It is becoming increasingly obvious that we need to think about the problems of the climate crisis and borders together. Environmental breakdown displaces millions of people every year, while states respond by militarizing their borders, causing further suffering and death. It is no accident that climate breakdown and state borders are linked. Historically, the nation-state was born out of a logic that also saw nature – and colonized peoples – as things to be conquered and dominated. Now, from the war-torn border regions of South Asia to the Amazon rainforest, people are questioning whether sustainability can ever be achieved through the framework of nation-states. They are turning to other ways of organizing society based on Indigenous worldviews and practices that respect all humans and the rest of nature.

Know Your Rights – Don’t Talk To Cops At The Airport

“Have you ever been arrested for a crime?”  I wasn’t surprised that was the first question.  I’ve said consistently over the past eight years that I wear my conviction for blowing the whistle on the CIA’s torture program like a badge of honor.  I said so on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and NBC’s Today Show.  It’s no secret.  “I’m going to tell you guys exactly the same thing that I tell your friends at Dulles Airport when they harass me.  I’m represented by counsel.  I don’t talk to cops.  You have no right to detain me.  I’m a journalist and I’m going to write about this incident using your true names.  And you have no legal right to keep me from entering my own country.”  Again they looked at each other.  Finally, Oh said, “you’re free to go.”

US Citizen Detained, Interrogated By DHS About Anti-War Movement For Venezuela Solidarity

A US citizen who participated in the Venezuelan Embassy Protection Collective was detained, searched and interrogated for the second time by US government agents about his political beliefs and participation in the anti-war movement. On his way back from a Christmas visit to his family in Nicaragua, 31-year-old US citizen Sergio Lazo Torrez was detained by Customs and Border Patrol officers.

We Can’t Obtain Immigration Justice In A World Of Borders And Nations

We can’t reckon with the extreme inequalities and inherent injustices of immigration policy without an analysis of how borders, the state and capitalism function to create them. Current liberal immigration news is often centered on reducing current harm — resisting Trump’s “border wall” and expansion of concentration camps, advocating for immigration reform and countering attacks on the asylum process. All of these efforts are critical to preventing more unnecessary death and suffering and should not be dismissed. We need more of them.

Letting Our Values Out Of Their Cage

My God, they put Jesus and his parents in cages, as though that’s what U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents would do — you know, keep the spirit of love and compassion from entering the United States of America. Are they suggesting there’s an equivalence here between the divine family and a bunch of illegals . . . drug dealers, rapists, possible killers of American citizens? The Claremont (California) United Methodist Church has tossed a shock bomb into the season of wreaths and holiday shopping.

On This Day Of Thanks And Mourning, A Call To Demilitarize The US Border

One year ago this week, as families across the country were preparing to sit down together for a Thanksgiving (or Day of Mourning) meal, families at the U.S.-Mexico border were facing a potentially deadly threat; just one day prior, Donald Trump had authorized U.S. troops to use lethal force against migrants and asylum seekers. Since then, the militarization of the southern border has only intensified. Approximately 7,000 military service members are now stationed there, operating under continued unclear rules of engagement and nebulous legal authority to surveil, detain, and even kill.

Not Guilty: Jurors Acquit Border Aid Volunteer Scott Warren On Harboring Charges

Federal court jurors in Tucson drew a line between harboring and help on Wednesday, when they acquitted border aid worker Scott Warren on felony charges for the assistance he gave to two Central American men last year. The not guilty verdict came after just 2.5 hours of deliberation, and it was greeted with cheering, laughter and tears from Warren’s supporters and fellow aid workers, including a contingent of clergy members from across the country. “The government failed in its attempt to criminalize basic human kindness,” Warren told the crowd outside the downtown courthouse after it was over.

Spending On US Border Enforcement Now A Staggering $24 Billion Annually

The southern border region is a place of hope and opportunity, where more than 15 million people live in peace and harmony with our southern neighbors, and work hard to provide for our families, just like countless communities across the country. But our states have been subjected to decades of deadly border policies that have torn apart the very fabric of our communities. As leaders of environmental and human rights groups based in the southern border states, we are calling on Congress to reject the profit-driven, dangerous push for endless border militarization.

Federal Court Rules Suspicionless Searches Of Travelers’ Phones And Laptops Unconstitutional

BOSTON—In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled today that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional. The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.

Navigating The Dilemmas Of Unarmed Accompaniment On The US-Mexico Border

International accompaniers must work to undo the power dynamics they rely on to increase the safety of their local partners and learn when to say "no." There is only one migrant shelter in Agua Prieta, a town on the south side of the United States’ border with Mexico. The Centro de Atención al Migrante “Exodus,” or CAME, has offered hospitality to migrants for the past 19 years. With a shift in patterns of migration that led hundreds of asylum-seeking families to Agua Prieta in the first months of 2019, CAME has housed over 150 people at a time in a space built for 50 people — with a wait list of nearly 500 more.
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