September 25, 2016
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Border Coalition Fights Back

TUSCON, AZ  -- As the government continues to pour more and more resources into border enforcement without providing appropriate accountability and oversight, border communities have borne the brunt of these policies, which have adversely impacted businesses, our residents' civil rights, the environment and international relations. 

 
Today, border organizations and community leaders announced the formation of an unprecedented coalition to assert the rights and interests of the communities that often fall casualty to our country's border policies.
 
More than six months in the making, the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) has officially launched with more than 60 signatories from San Diego to Brownsville.
 
“It’s critical that we organize and coordinate our voices along the border if we are to have an impact on the national level,” states Christian Ramirez of the American Friends Service Committee, one co-chair of the SBCC.  The coalition, which is broad-based and includes everything from environmental to faith to business organizations, is based around a formal agreement that identifies the common goals of the parties.
 
Under the agreement, the parties are focused on four overarching goals: 1. Work to ensure that border enforcement policies and practices are accountable and fair, respect human dignity and human rights, and prevent the loss of life in the region. 2. Promote policies and solutions that improve the quality of life in border communities. 3. Advance a positive image of the border region. 4. Support rational and humane immigration reform policies affecting the border region.
 
“Many of the organizations in the coalition have been working on these goals already, but now we are intent on coordinating our efforts and taking our work to a new level,” stated Jennifer Allen of Border Action Network, the other co-chair of the SBCC.  In the coming year, the coalition will focus on developing and deploying a common communication strategy, a coordinated base-building strategy, and a targeted strategy to change enforcement policies and practices that are detrimental to the border region.
 
The coalition is led by a steering committee representing the four southern border states and co-chaired by Jennifer Allen and Christian Ramirez:
 
Steering Commitee: California - Christian Ramirez (rep), Andrea Guerrero (alternate); Arizona - Jennifer Allen (rep); Jaime Farrant (alternate); New Mexico - Vicki Gaubeca (rep), Alma Maquitico (alternate); Texas - Mike Seifert (rep), Jazmin Francis (alternate).
 
A full list of signatories is below

COALITION OF ORGANIZATIONS
San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium
  • ACLU San Diego & Imperial Counties
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association, San Diego
  • American Friends Service Committee
  • Angeles del Desierto
  • Catholic Charities
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Center for Social Advocacy
  • Chaldean Middle Easter Social Services
  • City of San Diego Human Relations Commission
  • Employee Rights Center
  • Equality Alliance
  • Escondido Human Rights Committee
  • Interfaith Committee on Worker Justice
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Justice Overcoming Boundaries
  • National Lawyers Guild
  • San Diego LGBT Center
  • South Bay Forum
ACADEMICS
David Shirk (USD)
James Gerber (SDSU)
Marko Tocila (UCSD Visiting Scholar)
Xochitl Quintero (UCLA)

COMMUNITY LEADER
Pat Washington

FAITH LEADER
John Fanestil 


ARIZONA

ORGANIZATIONS
Arizona Zoological Society
Border Action Network
Border Initiative
BorderLinks
Center for Economic Integrity
Cochiso College Center for Lifelong Learning
First Christian Church Migration Ministries 
Frontera de Cristo
The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ
Mexicayotl Academy
Migrant Resource Center & Shelter
No More Deaths
School Sisters of Notre Dame
Sierra Club Borderlands Team

ELECTED OFFICIALS
Rosanna Gabaldon, Council Member of Town of Sahuarita
Manuel Ruiz, County Supervisor of Santa Cruz County

ACADEMIC
Andy Silverman (UA Law School)

BUSINESS LEADER

Conrad Plimpton
Fernando Gonzales

COMMUNITY LEADER

Mike Wilson 

FAITH LEADER
Suzanne Hesh


NEW MEXICO

COALITION OF ORGANIZATIONS
Taskforce for Immigrant Advocacy & Services

ORGANIZATIONS
ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights 
Encuentro Latino National Institute on Family Violence

ACADEMIC
Antonio Lara, NMSU

BUSINESS GROUP
Intercambios



TEXAS

South Texas Rio Grande Valley

COALITION OF ORGANIZATIONS
Rio Grande Valley Equal Voices Network

  • ARISE: Alamo/Pharr/San Juan
  • Brownsville Community Health Clinic: Brownsville/Port Isabel
  • La Unión del Pueblo Entero: San Juan/Mercedes/Pharr
  • Moviemiento Del Valle Por Los Derechos Humanos: Brownsville/Port Isabel
  • Proyecto Azteca: SanJuan
  • Proyecto Juan Diego: Cameron Park
  • Proyecto Libertad: Harlingen
  • SCAN: Rio Grande City
  • South Texas Adult Resource and Training Center: San Benito
  • Southwest Workers’ Union: Edinburg/Donna
  • Texas RioGrande Legal Aid: Weslaco/Edinburg/Brownsville
ORGANIZATIONS
BARCA
Migrant Health Promotion
South Texas Civil Rights Project

COMMUNITY LEADER
Jay Johnson-Castro 

FAITH LEADER
Donald Bahlinger (Laredo)

West Texas

ACADEMIC
Cristina Morales (UTEP)

BUSINESS GROUP
El Paso Solar Energy Association

COMMUNITY LEADER
Xavier Miranda
 



Border Action Network formed in 1999 and works with immigrant and border communities in Arizona to ensure that our rights are respected, our human dignity upheld and that our communities are safe and healthy places to live. We are a membership-based organization that combines grassroots community organizing, leadership development, policy advocacy and litigation.


STORY TAGS: Arizona , Southern Border Communities Coalition , General, Black News, African American News, Latino News, Hispanic News, Minority News, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Racism, Diversity, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality



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