San Diego: The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) expresses its concern about the H.R. 399, “Secure Our Borders First Act,” a border enforcement-only bill introduced on January 16, 2015 by Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), which seeks to further militarize border communities.
The bill is a misguided attempt at addressing a false narrative about border communities, despite the fact that border communities are some of the safest cities in the United States. Some of the more extreme measures the bill proposes include:
- A requirement for near-constant drone surveillance within 100 miles of the Southern Border
- Deployment of the National Guard
- War assets and other enforcement tools authorized by Congress to be deployed within 100 miles of the Southern Border
- Establish a biometric exit data system to screen all people and cargo leaving the country
- Grant Customs and Border Protection unrestricted authority to supersede and waive all environmental laws on federal land within 100 miles of the Southern Border to build additional border walls.
With Representative McCaul touring San Diego today, it is important that he understand that San Diego residents will not support legislation that is out-of-touch with reality and could harm the livelihood of millions of border residents.
“Our border communities are not ‘theatres of war’ to be experimented on with military equipment. Our civil and human rights are at stake when a military solution is sought to address economic and social disparities in border communities,” stated Alor F. Calderon, Director of Employee Rights Center.
“Representative McCaul’s border militarization bill will only exacerbate systemic abuses because it fails to address border agent misconduct, and it will place in danger civil rights with the expansion of drone surveillance,” stated Pedro Rios, Director of American Friends Service Committee.
Since 2007, San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) has worked to bring together leaders from the faith, labor, and legal communities to advocate policies that promote the civic and human rights of immigrants and is comprised of 20 organizations from throughout San Diego County.
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Ricardo Favela, (760) 468-4519