Migration surge tied to a climate crisis Gov. Greg Abbott helped create
$4 Billion Operation Lone Star border security program designed to obscure Texas Governor culpability. By Greg Harman for Deceleration News. These weeks, I’m hearing people around me say it looks like the sun is getting closer to Haiti, the heat is unbearable. Yet, we know that the sun stays in its place, it is shade […]
7 Immigration Myths We Must Unlearn to Reclaim Our Humanity
The time for a paradigmatic shift in how Americans view immigrants and immigration is now
There haven’t been many moments of joy in the US immigration space these past four years. But March brought celebration to the borderlands as we witnessed the good guys — and gals — prevail over the evil villain, Hollywood-style — if only for a moment. That’s when we saw men, women, and children crossing the […]
Migrant ‘Protection’ Protocols Survivor Stories #4: Enrique
His resilience, leadership and loyalty make him an asset to any nation, yet all Trump & Co could see was Brown
The brothers were ambushed on the Ides of March 2019. It happened as they walked toward their childhood home in Quetzaltenango. Guatemala’s second-largest city, boasting a rich Mayan heritage and a dramatic natural backdrop, Xela (as it’s known to locals) is where I went to buy presents for my host family when I lived in […]
The American Borderlands and the Rights of the Child
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has been violated on American soil more than any other time in modern history
On Christmas Eve, 2018, in a remote corner of the Texan desert, Esperanza Project editor Tracy Barnett interviewed activists organizing a creative resistance against the detainment of thousands of youths at the now defunct Tornillo Child Detention Center. It was deep in winter and the wind bit at the chain-link fence as she spoke with […]
Natasha: Migrant Protection Protocol Survivor Story #3
When your choices are persecution, solitary confinement, or going underground, ‘protection’ is prevarication
The border encampment in Matamoros that had become a makeshift community for thousands has now been emptied of the final 700, or so, souls still living there when Biden announced the end of MPP. But not all 700 camp inhabitants, like Perla, have been allowed to cross. Roughly 70 individuals with “complex cases” remain in […]
Migrant ‘Protection’ Protocols Survivor Stories #2: Perla
Fleeing political persecution only to be persecuted by politics at the US border, this front-line worker finally gets her day in court
Perla has been a professional pharmacist for 22 years. Even as a political refugee living in a tent meant for weekend camping, trapped by circumstance and a cruel immigration policy, the Nicaraguan grandmother managed to ply her trade and make herself useful to the thousands of other refugees halted at the US border by the […]
Migrant ‘Protection’ Protocols Survivor Stories #1: Gabriel
This businessman and his family survived the trek north only to be trapped in Mexico by Trump’s cruel America. Will they now get to cross?
When Gabriel and his family pitched their tent in the Matamoros refugee camp, they thought it would be for a few months. They were broke, exhausted, and confused. They decided they could endure the indignity of living in the mud on the banks of the Rio Bravo at least until their first asylum hearing. When […]
Letter to Joe and Jill: Tear Down Those Walls!
It's time to make the humanitarian crisis at the border and in detention centers throughout the country a top priority.
As we prepare to close the doors on the horrors of the Trump Administration, President Elect Joe Biden will have his hands full trying to restore order and peace in the United States. He will have a long list of wrongs to right, and high among them should be the humanitarian crisis wreaked upon the […]
'Death flight' evokes Nazi Germany and Middle Passage
Shackled African asylum seekers tortured, returned to threat of death
The Trump Administration has stepped up deportations of Cameroonian and other African asylum seekers in flights operated by ICE contractor, Omni Air International, before Joe Biden takes office. Some face almost certain death upon their arrival. The First Solution author Sarah Towle reports. Remembering the SS St Louis On May 13, 1939, more than 900 […]
Time to turn the page on Trump's Seven Deadly Immigration Sins
Reflections from upcoming book from the frontlines of a manufactured crisis
With less than a week to Election Day, the eyes of the world are on the United States. What happens next Tuesday is of grave importance not only to the future of the planet but to many hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants as well. Perhaps no issue is more demonstratively clear in terms of […]
The Education of a US Border Patrol Agent
A peek into America’s most troubled law enforcement agency with former Senior Border Patrol Agent turned immigration activist, Jenn Budd
She had no idea what she was getting herself into. Raised in Huntsville, Alabama, daughter of liberal parents who’d been active in the Civil Rights Movement, Jenn Budd graduated from Auburn University in 1995 buried in debt. Before realizing her goal of going to law school, she decided to get some real world experience and […]
The Cruelest Policy of All: Family Separation
Jodi Goodwin spearheaded the first legal triage effort to free parents from ICE and reunite them with their children kidnapped by Uncle Sam
One day deep in June 2018 — she can’t remember the exact day because she’d been working seven days a week, 16 hours a day, at least, since April — Jodi Goodwin received a curious phone call. It was from a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officer stationed at the Port Isabel Detention Center (PIDC), where her most […]
For Jennifer Harbury, It’s Déjà Vu at the Border
Where the impunity of the Central American Dirty Wars now crosses this human rights warrior’s doorstep, Trump & Co victimize the victims
The gang came for “Sam” on his 15th birthday. He’d said “no” to them before. This time, they gave him an ultimatum: Join us or die. But poor though his family was, Sam did not want to enter a world of crime and brutality from which there was no escape. The gang, born in Los […]
UPDATE: Asylum-Seeking Parents Confront Sophie's Choice
ICE decision deadline postponed: Family separation versus coronavirus exposure. HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO.
Update: The day we published this article, a federal judge in California extended Judge Dolly Gee’s deadline, giving Trump & Co. 10 more days to ponder the fates of 366 migrant children — until July 27. Those children have been detained with their parents already for far more than the 20 days allowed by the 1997 […]
How a red-state rebel turned off Rush Limbaugh and became the volunteer sanitation engineer and everyday hero for a refugee camp
Whatever I was expecting, Brendon Tucker was not it. A young man with a big presence in the Brownsville/Matamoros humanitarian community, he’s the Angry Tías favorite nephew and Team Brownsville’s prodigal son; the backbone of GRM and the right and left hands of Resource Center Matamoros (RCM). While only 25, his journey here is fascinating, for Tucker was brought up on a diet of right-wing media and racist bile.
When Aunties and Grannies Become Activists
How a handful of friends grew into a powerful network for dignity and justice on the border
What Cindy, Nayelly, Jennifer and Joyce saw was injustice, plain and simple. They were angry. They began a coordinated response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding before their eyes: not only at the bridges, but at courthouses, detention centers, bus stations, and processing centers all across the Rio Grande Valley.
The Children of Our Neglect: 17 Days in Matamoros
Now is the time to break the cycle of violence.
MATAMOROS, Mexico — On the morning of New Year’s Eve, a woman named Angela stood ankle-deep in the Rio Grande, washing clothes — or as they call it on this side of the border, the Rio Bravo. Bravo means fierce in this context: A few paces from where Angela, a Salvadoran asylum seeker, was doing […]
My Coworker Lives in a Tent
The American Dream turned nightmare on the Mexican border
I met Nathan Boddy and his wife, Dr. Johanna Dreiling, on a recent trip to Matamoros, Mexico, on the border with Brownsville, Texas. I was there to report on the surge of grassroots volunteers responding to the crisis in the absence of a government or major NGO response. Dr. Johanna was working at the camp […]
Grassroots aid workers bring hope and healing across the border
Volunteers deliver relief where major NGOs fear to tread
In the absence of big NGOs, volunteers regularly cross into one of Mexico’s most dangerous cartel zones to support asylum seekers stranded there by U.S. policy.
'There is no safety. There is no family. There is no home.'
Terror plagues asylum seekers, but defenders are fighting back.
Terror plagues asylum seekers, but defenders are fighting back.
Butterflies vs. Borders
Saving the National Butterfly Center and a wildlife refuge corridor from imminent devastation
One day in July 2017, Marianna Treviño-Wright was driving her car by the levee that crosses the private property of the National Butterfly Center. Then she saw something unsettling. Surrounded by the dense Texas thornscrub that grows on either side of the levee, she pulled over, got out of her car and confronted five government contractors […]
Resisting the Border Wall
In defense of indigenous history and an Underground Railroad outpost
Garet Bleir has spent the last 100 days living out of a tent beside the Carrizo/Comecrudo Nation and allies in the Esto’k Gna’s villages near the U.S.-Mexico border. He is there investigating the humanitarian and environmental devastation caused by the border wall sweeping through South Texas. This story was made possible with a grant from […]
Six Children Dead: Enough is Enough
Allegra Love on the wave of Central American child deaths resulting from US crackdown on asylum seekers
Allegra Love, founder of the Santa Fe Dreamers Project and an immigration attorney on the front lines of the migrant crisis created and exacerbated in large part by the US government, has just had enough. She wrote these words before the news came out of a sixth child — a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador […]
Resistance in the Borderlands of El Paso
“El Paso Most Wanted” on the #Borderland16, vigilante militias and why this human rights activist is facing criminal trespass charges
On the morning of April 15, Elizabeth Vega and Ana Tiffany Deveze walked into to the El Paso Police Department and turned themselves in. Their crime: a peaceful protest against the U.S. Border Patrol, for which they and 14 others are being charged with offenses ranging from misdemeanor trespassing to felony criminal mischief. Here Ana, […]
Migrant Caravan: On the Other Side
Immigration lawyer’s journey has unexpected consequences
If I had to estimate how many immigrants and refugees I have met in detention centers, the number would be in the thousands. Since 2014, in my capacity as an immigration lawyer, I have volunteered in family detention facilities in New Mexico and Texas. Now, the legal services organization I lead, Santa Fe Dreamers Project, […]
In the Path of the Border Wall
Reflections on Our Time with the Esto'k Gna and the National Butterfly Center
The bulldozers have arrived at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, in preparation for their clearing 150 ft. on either side of the proposed border wall, gearing up to demolish a 900-year-old cypress tree. Contrary to promises from the Trump administration, the staff have been banned from accessing their private land on 70 of […]
Christmas in Tornillo
Occupation at “concentration camp for children” strives to waken America's soul
TORNILLO, TEXAS – Juan Ortiz is putting the last touches on the Christmas tree he is constructing from the plastic water jugs left for thirsty migrants in the desert. The jugs were a donation from No More Deaths, a volunteer organization that faces trial for assisting the migrants – one of whom is facing up […]