border-security

What if we re-imagined the US-Mexico border wall as architecture? Read more about the project in this week’s Design and Violence blog post. 

[Ronald Rael (American, b. 1971), Virginia San Fratello (American, b. 1971). Borderwall as Architecture: Teeter-totter alternative border solution. 2014. Dimensions and materials variable. Image courtesy of Rael San Fratello] 

The image…is of Carlos La Madrid, 19…shot in the back three times…and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent March 21, 2011 on the U.S. side of the border wall in Douglas, Ariz. His mother, Guadalupe Guerrero, who lives in Tucson, has become an outspoken figure on border violence in her attempt to seek answers and justice…

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An investigative report that matters: Apparently 17 million pounds of marijuana has been confiscated by the U.S. Border Patrol between January 2005 and October 2011, the Center for Investigative Reporting reports. The lede on the ABC News story on the matter? “If you’ve always wanted to roll a spliff the size of the Washington Monument, the Border Patrol may be able to help.” I, for one, salute the Washington Marijuanament.

(Spotted this via firthofforth but had to post separately because OH MY GOD THE GRAPHIC)

Border violence is a prohibition problem. Just as we did for Al Capone and his murderous colleagues 90 years ago, our drug laws have created the battlefield on which tens of thousands are dying. By doggedly hanging onto marijuana laws that make criminals out of our children while our leaders proudly consume wine at state dinners, we have created an illegal marketplace with such mind-boggling profits that no enforcement measures will ever overcome the motivation, resources and determination of the cartels.

The Fence

The border the United States shares with Mexico is nearly 2,000 miles long and contains numerous natural and man-made barriers. The construction of the fence, the most significant man-made barrier in North America, started in 2006, has cost more than 3 billion dollars and spans around 700 miles (1,126 km).

This photo is part of a series titled “The Fence,” by Reportage photographer Charles Ommanney. You can view an exhibition of this work at the Leica Store in Miami through July, with an opening reception next Friday, May 29th at 7:30pm. Visit the Leica Store website for more info.

politico.com
Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers
The candidates tell drastically different stories about immigration. They're both skipping half the truth. By GEORGE J. BORJAS

I’ve been studying immigration for 30 years, but 2016 was the first time my research was cited in a convention speech. When he accepted his party’s nomination in July, Donald Trump used one of my economic papers to back up his plan to crack down on immigrants and build a physical wall: “Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers,” he told the cheering crowd. But he was telling only half the story.

Hillary Clinton, for her part, seemed to be telling only the other half. At her convention a week later, Clinton claimed that immigrants, both legal and illegal, improve the economy for everyone. She told the crowd: “I believe that when we have millions of hardworking immigrants contributing to our economy, it would be self-defeating and inhumane to try to kick them out. Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy.”

Here’s the problem with the current immigration debate: Neither side is revealing the whole picture. Trump might cite my work, but he overlooks my findings that the influx of immigrants can potentially be a net good for the nation, increasing the total wealth of the population. Clinton ignores the hard truth that not everyone benefits when immigrants arrive. For many Americans, the influx of immigrants hurts their prospects significantly.

Read more here

No human being held by United States authorities should ever be exposed to hunger, extreme temperatures, physical or verbal abuse, or denial of medical care.
— 

Sen. Barbara Boxer said in a press release announcing a new bill to ensure humane detention conditions at Customs and Border Protection facilities. 

In November, we reported that immigrants apprehended near the border sometimes are held in what they, as well as some Border Patrol agents, call las hieleras, or “the freezers.” 

Now, Sen. Boxer is proposing a new bill that would implement standards for Customs and Border Protection facilities, such as adequate climate control, potable water, access to toilets, access to medical care and special treatment for pregnant women.

More details on the proposed legislation here.

cbc.ca
'Ludicrous' to ban Canadians from U.S. for smoking pot, says public safety minister
'We obviously need to intensify discussions with border authorities in the United States,' says minister

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says Canadians slapped with a lifetime ban on entering the United States for telling a border guard they have recreationally smoked pot is a “ridiculous situation” that needs to be addressed.

“We obviously need to intensify our discussions with our border authorities in the United States, including the Department of Homeland Security,” Goodale told CBC’s Power & Politics host Rosemary Barton.

“This does seem to be a ludicrous situation, because, as you say, not only is the state of Washington, but three or four other jurisdictions in the United States have legalized marijuana,” he said.

Goodale was responding to the case of Matthew Harvey, who has been excluded from the U.S. for answering truthfully when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service asked if he had ever smoked pot recreationally.

“They said that I was inadmissible because I admitted to smoking marijuana after the age of 18 and before I’d received my medical marijuana licence,” he said.

For the rest of his life, Harvey and other Canadians in his position must now apply for advance permission to enter the U.S. as a non-immigrant. The travel waiver, which costs $585 US ($752 Cdn), is granted on a discretionary basis, which means it may be good for a year, or two, or five, depending on the discretion of the approval officer.

When the waiver expires, Harvey will have to apply again and pay the fee, again, which is going up to $930 US ($1,195 Cdn) later this year.

Continue Reading.

In El Paso, residents aren’t waiting for Congress to fix immigration

EL PASO, Texas — As 2013 drew to a close, volunteers for the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) fanned out into El Paso and the surrounding communities to collect stories of abuse and mistreatment by law enforcement officials. The annual effort seeks to establish accountability for officers working along the El Paso sector of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Amid the steady stream of complaints that rolled in, Fernando Garcia, the organization’s director, noticed a conspicuous absence of grievances against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department. “I said, ‘This cannot be,”’ recalled Garcia. He extended the campaign for two weeks and told volunteers to focus on finding any potential complaints against Border Patrol, an arm of CBP. But once again, volunteers found no verifiable incidents of abuse.

Read more

(Photo: Tom A. Peter)

Watch on thisisseriousperiod.tumblr.com

“I’M NOT SURE YET! SIR, REMAIN QUIET WHILE I TEST THE BEER!”

Conan helps to patrol the US-Canada border in style.

From Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

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Slate’s photo blog, Behold, profiles Getty Images photographer John Moore and his work on immigration and border-security issues, which he has focused on since 2010.

Moore said he approached the project with the intent of looking at the issues “in as many ways as possible.” He said he explained the point of his project to immigrant communities and those in migrant shelters around the United States as wanting to put a human face on the issue; many decided to participate. He photographed a variety of people, including older men who were recently deported after living in the United Sates for many years, Cubans seeking asylum, and transgender people. He also tried to focus on families who had assimilated into American society.

Read more from the profile and see John’s work on Slate.com.