WASHINGTON, D.C. and Rio Grande Valley, Texas – Yesterday, the National Border Patrol Council – the union of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Agency employees – issued a disturbing endorsement of Donald Trump for President.
In their endorsement statement, the CBP union declares, “all the people responsible for the problems plaguing America today are opposing Mr. Trump.” Their sweeping generalization is telling of the CBP’s views of the 8 in 10 Latinos who fit into that category not to mention the 63 percent of Americans who view him unfavorably.
Border communities have long felt the pain inflicted upon them by CBP agents that operate with near total impunity. Yesterday, the family of Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas, murdered by CBP officers in 2010, along with the Southern Border Communities Coalition and other leaders, made an historic petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights demanding accountability for human rights violations by CBP. Nearly 50 people have been murdered by CBP officers in the last five years and in its entire history of existence, no officer has been held accountable for their crimes while they rejected efforts to mandate body cameras on officers.
Aquí Estamos, a local group working with United We Dream representing LGBTQ immigrant community youth living in the Texas Rio Grande Valley issued the following statement:
“The Border Patrol union endorsement statement shines a bright light on the truth about their racist and dangerous culture. They resist all efforts to be held accountable and assault and harass our people while politicians shovel tax dollars towards their efforts with no questions asked. Border regions, such as the Rio Grande Valley, have witnessed our communities languish in widespread poverty as money is poured into security efforts that only harm our community and spread fear. It is time CBP is held accountable for their racist culture and the damage they have inflicted upon us.”
Cristina Jimenez, Managing Director of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth network in the U.S., added:
“We call on all communities to not empower this rogue police force in any way and to stand with people along the borders who live in the grip of CBP every day. Schools should ban Border Patrol recruiters from their career fairs, shop owners should tell agents lurking on their property to get lost, local governments should reject Border Patrol contracts and churches should teach congregations about their rights.”
Aquí Estamos is a youth-led, queer people of color organization in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, a region along the U.S.-Mexico border. You can find more about Aqui Estamos online at www.aquiestamosrgv.org.