[Source – NNIRR]
President Obama’s signing into law the “Southwest Border Security Bill” last week signaled the beginning of the latest phase of U.S. militarization of immigration control and border communities. The new bill provides an additional $600 million to deploy 1,500 new Border Patrol agents and law enforcement officials along the border, as well as two aerial surveillance drones. President Obama is also sending 1200 National Guard troops to patrol the border.
View the Democracy Now! interview with Arnoldo Garcia, director of NNIRR’s Immigrant Justice & Rights Program, on the Southwest Border Security bill and the devastating impacts of border militarization
As President Obama signed the bill, Janet Napolitano, head of the Department of Homeland Security, announced the extension of “Secure Communities,” the federal immigration-police collaboration program, into the the entire U.S. Southwest.
The deepening of U.S. border militarization and expansion of immigration police collaboration is fueling a humanitarian crisis. U.S. border security and immigration policing are undermining the health and safety of immigrant communities at the border and in the interior. Arizona’s anti-immigrant racial profiling law, SB1070, which allows local police to act as immigration law enforcers, along with the Secure Communities program and the 287(g) agreement, are fueling copycat laws in some 20 states.
Guilty by immigration status: Immigration-police collaboration has severely undermined the rights of individuals who are perceived to be or are immigrants. There is little if any oversight and certainly no investigation of the impacts of immigration policing. And U.S. border security, responsible for deliberately funneling migrants into the deserts and mountains of Arizona and parts of New Mexico and Texas, where hundreds die or disappear every year, continues unabated.
Read NNIRR’s statement on the “Southwest Border Security Bill.”