Border Justice by Julie G.


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Migrants, Justice & the Border 

            I went to the panel discussion: “¿Cuantos Mas? Migrant Justice Along the Border.”  I walked in and Jenn Allen from Border Action Network was talking about the same things that we heard her discussing in Tucson before we went to Nogales.  It was good to have my memory refreshed regarding the issues of the vigilante groups, the ranch rescue, the Barnett family, and the basic human rights violations to the Nogales and Douglas citizens.  The new information that I gleaned from her talk was that the responsibility to make some sort of change has to come from the community leaders, citizens, and advocates.  She emphasized that it is necessary to admonish people like Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard to enforce the violations made by the vigilante groups and others with regards to laws that are already in place.  The activities engaged in by the vigilante groups, ranch rescue, and the Barnett family violate state laws.  It is against the law for civilians to impersonate law enforcement officers and to form standing militias.  She also pointed out that it is not one particular agency that is the problem.  It is an institutional problem that needs to be addressed on many levels.

            I think the overlying emphasis of the entire panel discussion was really about basic human rights violations.  This reminded me of the article regarding the Chandler roundup.  I found it interesting that the Coalition’s lawsuit against the Chandler police department had to be addressed in such a way that excluded undocumented migrants.  I understand the point of their lawsuit and the advantage that that exclusion gave them, but I really appreciated the panel’s highlighting the human rights issue.  This addresses the bigger issue of how we as humans should be treated and how we should treat others.  It overshadows our fears of the unknown and what we don’t understand and makes us look at the bigger picture, which I believe to be human rights for all people, including immigrants.     

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