"What we’ve been doing for a long time is trying to raise awareness about these official actions, whether they be by the state police, local police, or Border Patrol—law enforcement agencies that are roving around, knocking on doors, pulling cars over, taking people off the steps of churches, taking people out of grocery stores, drug stores, or following kids home from school."
The U.S. borderlands are today ground zero for the rise, growth, and spread of a domestic surveillance state. On June 27th, the Senate passed an immigration bill and the result, as Senator John McCain proudly said will be the “most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
In less than one week, two Guatemalan citizens committed suicide in the privately-run immigration detention center in Eloy, Arizona. It is another horrifying glimpse into an ever-expanding U.S. immigration control complex where death has become very much a part of the equation.
Last month’s sequester-related release of immigrants from immigration detention centers brought praise from immigrants' rights advocates and impassioned criticism from conservative politicians. If the surprise move by ICE accomplishes nothing more, hopefully it will prompt us to ask whether we want to continue relying so heavily on confinement as a tool for enforcing immigration law.
A new report from the Migration Policy Institute documents record levels of spending on immigration and boundary policing. Often justified in the name of protecting children, the "border wars" and the diversion of billions of dollars to fund them, not surpriingly, prove ultimately to be quite harmful to children in myriad ways.
Two recent cases from southern California provide insight into the identity of those who smuggle drugs across the international boundary between Mexico and the United States. More importantly they highlight how the ludicrous “war on drugs” produces casualties of many sorts.