SOUTH CAROLINA: THE BORDER CONTROL STATE

An excerpt of Border Patrol Nation as it appears in Guernica.

The police always put the checkpoint at the entrance to the mobile home park where María and Manuel live. A road barely two lanes wide leads through the park with its approximately sixty gray, white, and beige mobile homes tightly concentrated in a two-block area. Just in case, María and Manuel check to make sure the shiny black police cars and orange cones aren’t there. They decide to risk it and go to church.

Q&A—SIEGE MENTALITY: THE BORDER PATROL’S NORTHERN ADVANCE

Q: When people think about border or immigration enforcement they usually think about Arizona or Texas. Are you saying border enforcement is happening in the state of New York?

Yes, I’ve had this conversation with a lot of other people. You’re right that the discussion is about people crossing in Arizona or Texas. But they don’t talk about the fact that once migrants cross the border, that’s just really the beginning of their struggle. If they survive crossing the border, then they have to survive getting to their destination. And for a lot of folks their destination is this part of the country—Sodus, New York, near Rochester.

They get here and the whole thing starts over again. They’re getting targeted here just like they are on the Mexican border. So there’s this constant siege mentality that leads to the same sort of survival mentality as crossing the border. People are hiding, not being seen in public on purpose.

Border Patrol has told me publicly that its agents are sitting in their cars looking out into Lake Ontario, waiting apparently for Mexicans to swim across Lake Ontario from Canada. But these people are not coming from the north, they are coming from the south. So I picture the commander of the Border Patrol sitting in his car, I don’t know, drinking a beer—I don’t know what they’re doing sitting there, you know? And all the action is happening right behind him. The Border Patrol agents behind him are picking up all the farmworkers.

Border Wars’ Todd Miller talks with John “Lory” Ghertner, a doctor who is a member of the Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigration Justice. For more background information on Border Patrol operations in Sodus and Rochester, see this article written here for Border Wars in July, 2012.

Read the rest here: http://nacla.org/blog/2013/11/27/qa%E2%80%94siege-mentality-border-patrol%E2%80%99s-northern-advance

THE BORDER PATROL’S OUT-OF-CONTROL GROWTH

The United States has 60,000 border guards, more than double the size of Ecuador’s army.

On October 8, Tucson police officers pulled over a driver because the light above his license plate wasn’t working. When he didn’t present a license, a typical scenario unfolded: Under Arizona’s infamous SB 1070 law, cops become de facto immigration enforcement agents.

Simply put, the state’s “papers, please” measure obligates police to rely on “reasonable suspicion” to determine if someone possesses the proper documents to be in the United States.

But police officers don’t actually make immigration-related arrests. Instead, they call the U.S. Border Patrol. The October 8 incident marked just one of 50,000 such referrals that happen yearly in Tucson. The same Arizona immigration bill that former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) head Janet Napolitano called “misguided,” is enabled by her agency’s collaboration with Arizona’s local police forces.

Read the rest here:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/19769-the-border-patrols-out-of-control-growth

This article originally appeared in OtherWords.

WAR ON THE BORDER

Three generations of Loews have worked the family’s 63 acres in Amado, Ariz. In the last 20 years, the Loew family harvested thousands of pounds of onions, garlic and pumpkins without incident. So Stewart Loew, 44, who was born and raised on the farm, was surprised when he went to irrigate his fields one night and found himself surrounded by federal agents.

Pointing to the fires about 200 feet away that Mr. Loew lit to keep warm while he irrigated his fields, one of the agents slogged out of the ankle deep water in the irrigation ditch and asked Mr. Loew what he was doing.

“I’m irrigating, dude,” said Mr. Loew, who was in his pajamas. “What are you doing?”

“Don’t ‘dude’ me, I’m a federal officer,” the Border Patrol agent said, and demanded Mr. Loew’s identification.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/opinion/sunday/war-on-the-border.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

This story first appeared in the New York Times.

CREATING A MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL IMMIGRATION COMPLEX: HERE’S HOW TO TURN THE U.S. -MEXICAN BORDER INTO A WAR ZONE.

The first thing I did at the Border Security Expo in Phoenix this March was climb the brown “explosion-resistant” tower, 30 feet high and 10 feet wide, directly in the center of the spacious room that holds this annual trade show. From a platform where, assumedly, a border guard would stand, you could take in the constellation of small booths offering the surveillance industry’s finest products, including a staggering multitude of ways to monitor, chase, capture, or even kill people, thanks to modernistic arrays of cameras and sensors, up-armored jeeps, the latest in guns, and even surveillance balloons.

http://www.thenation.com/article/175211/creating-military-industrial-immigration-complex#axzz2cCFyIvkG

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com.

FOLLOWING THEIR FOOTSTEPS: PARTICIPANTS IN THE MIGRANT TRAIL WALK SPENT SEVEN DAYS REFLECTING ON WHAT IT MEANS TO CROSS THE BORDER

Everyone in our group of 52 people wakes up at 3 a.m. It’s Thursday, May 30, and we are at a campsite on the northern edge of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 25 miles from the international border and 40 miles southwest of Tucson. The group is used to getting up early, but on this day, with 16 miles to cover, we need to beat our normal 5 a.m. start.

We have already been walking for three days, but this is the toughest day of the Migrant Trail Walk—a 75-mile, seven-day hike from the U.S.-Mexico border at Sasabe to Tucson. This is the 10th annual walk, which brings participants from Southern Arizona and around the world to walk in solidarity with the more than 6,000 migrants whose remains have been recovered in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands since the mid-1990s. The desert south of Tucson has been one of the deadliest places for unauthorized border-crossers.

http://www.tucsonweekly.com/tucson/following-their-footsteps/Content?oid=3810172