Rio Grande between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez on Monday, February 8, 2016, in Juarez, Chihuahua. / photo by: Ivan Pierre Aguirre

Borderland Immigration Council: Trump’s Executive Orders ‘Devastating Assault’

Via a news release and a Thursday morning news conference, the Borderland Immigration Council expressed their concern and outrage over President Donald Trump’s executive orders dealing with border security, immigrants and his fabled border wall.

Below is the Borderland Immigration Council’s complete statement:

The Borderland Immigration Council, a coalition of immigration attorneys, non-profit organizations, advocates and community members, denounces President Trump’s executive orders; asks for immediate action from Congressional, county and city officials; and demands transparency from ICE in the implementation of these new policies.

President Trump’s executive orders, signed 25 January 2017, on building a border wall, targeting asylum seekers and immigrants, and threatening the safety of our communities, are a devastating assault on our Borderplex home of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.

As advocates for immigrants and refugees, we vow to protect the fundamental rights of all people, including asylum seekers and our undocumented neighbors. The executive order announced today seeks to expedite the asylum process to a pace that threatens to undermine asylum seekers’ rights.

Expediting the process and increasing detention measures directly impact a person’s ability to have meaningful access to counsel and is in violation of due process. These fundamental principles of our democracy are now under attack. Additionally, this violates international conventions that protect the asylum seeker by fast tracking people back to countries that often fail to protect their lives.

In effect, the executive order issued today will result in the unnecessary deaths of asylum seekers who present themselves at our southern border asking for our help.

Mandatory detention criminalizes people seeking asylum and threatens family unity without regard to individualized circumstances.  There are ongoing reports of inadequate treatment and inhumane conditions in immigrant detention centers in our community; increasing the use of detention not only undermines our commitment to liberty, put places more people at risk.

Finally, building a wall and pouring money into a border that is already highly militarized is an insult to us as Americans, taxpayers, and global citizens.  Building a larger wall will not make America safer. It represents a scandalous misuse of resources under the guise of national security — when we know that border communities like El Paso, and those with large immigrant populations, are among the safest places to live.

We demand that our Congressional representatives, county and city elected officials and community leaders challenge the breadth and reach of these executive orders. We invite them to join us in publicly committing to fight this administration’s efforts to demonize and threaten the safety of immigrants within our communities and those seeking assistance on our borders. We ask that they ensure that the legal process is followed and that the Department of Homeland Security not abuse its discretion.

We urge ICE and CBP to be humane in all policy implementation and ask that the Department of Homeland Security clarify immediately how these policies will be implemented. We further demand that our local ICE office publicly announce how and when any new policies concerning the enforcement of immigration laws will be implemented locally and within the El Paso Area of Responsibility.

As advocates, representatives of the law, and global citizens committed to rights and justice, we denounce these executive orders as harmful to the very fabric of our communities and country.

The Borderland Immigration Council consists of immigration attorneys, local nonprofits, and members of the community who are concerned with Immigration Customs and Enforcement leadership’s pattern of denial of discretionary relief for immigrants and refugees in the El Paso area. BIC advocates for all migrants and families facing the unjust system of immigration.