Featured

Asylum Seeker Report for April 19, 2019

 ·         As of 1 p.m. this afternoon, The City of Las Cruces has accepted and served about 1300 asylum seekers.
·         95 people were received this morning and there is anticipation of an increase today based on talks with Border Patrol of decreased weekend staffing.
·         150 people were dropped off during the last operational period. 235 were sheltered overnight.
·        Las Cruces High School (LCHS) is up and operating with a capacity of 235 people – The Triage Center will be phased out today due to lower staffing levels until Monday.
·         Media is asked to only assemble at an empty lot staging area to the West of McDonalds on Boutz Road.
·         LCHS will host the team of people working on travel arrangements later this afternoon, as they will be leaving the Triage Center.
·         No buses are available Sunday so there will be a need more drivers on Sunday to help operate the vans that are available.
·     Staff/Volunteers at various sites are reporting what is needed. Towels are needed at LCHS, but all donations are being asked to go to one of two locations: Gospel Rescue Mission for clothing type donations and Casa de Perigrinos for non-perishable food. Monetary donations are preferred.
·       Plans through the weekend includes working with Annunciation House, moving people out of Community of Hope and Gospel Rescue Mission for cleaning. Frank O’Brien Papen Community Center is on standby for overflow. (It will close to the public, just as Meerscheidt did this past week, until further notice. Senior meals, however, will be available on Monday.)

Commentary

Immigration and the Shock Doctrine


By Andrew Moss

            If you look back over the Trump administration’s handling of immigration during the past two-and-a-half years, you’ll see a pattern of chronic tension and dysfunction.  Like many people, you may have apprehended the pattern as a series of specific emergencies and dramatic events:  the declaration of an “invasion” at our borders; the shutdown, or threatened shutdown, of our government or our southern border; the separation of migrant families crossing the border; the forced resignation of government officials unable to fulfill the president’s demands for ever-harsher measures.

            Some of the wild careering of the administration’s behavior can be traced to a particular mix of incompetence, willful ignorance, and toxic narcissism.  But a good part of it is explicable if you consider the concept of the “shock doctrine” that author and activist Naomi Klein introduced back in 2007 (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism).  In that book and in subsequent publications, Klein showed how political leaders exploit the disorientation and fear resulting from various kinds of calamities:  a sudden economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster.  Pursuing authoritarian rule, these leaders declare states of emergency and take advantage of the circumstances to ram though measures benefiting economic and political elites.  

            In the case of Trump’s immigration policies, a number of “emergencies” were simply manufactured or generated by the administration, e.g. the termination of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, or the institution of the cruel “zero tolerance” (family separation) policy.  While headlines focused on these issues, the administration continued efforts to criminalize migrants and to normalize its emphasis on detention, deportation, and the militarization of our borders.  Its ongoing efforts have continued to benefit for-profit prison corporations like the GEO Group ($2.3 billion in 2018 revenues) and CoreCivic ($1.8 billion in 2018) as well as a host of military contractors involved in border security.

            Now we’re faced with a genuine, unprecedented border crisis.  As New York Times journalists have reported, the number of people (mostly Central American) attempting to cross the border and seek asylum has risen to about 100,000 a month, almost a million in a year. The number of migrant families seeking entry this past February increased five-fold over the same month in 2018, and there are now 800,000 pending cases in immigration courts, with each case requiring an average of 700 days to process.  Many families enter the country facing woefully inadequate resources for housing, food, and medical care. 

            As Naomi Klein has argued, Donald Trump’s actions and policies represent not so much an aberration as a culmination of anti-democratic trends impacting American political culture over many years.  Trump’s responses to the most recent crises – his threats to shut down the border, his attempts to make asylum ever-more difficult to attain, and his cutting off of aid to Central American nations – emerge from such trends.  And, as can be expected, his responses have exacerbated, not alleviated, problems by encouraging people to migrate sooner rather than later, and by eliminating programs that could help reduce violence in neighboring nations.

            The past two-and-a-half years have taken us to a critical juncture.  Immigration policy based on incarceration, deportation, and militarization has proven itself to be a disastrous failure, and Trump continues to double down on a course of action that inflicts suffering on countless individuals and families.  Enabled by the powers of his office and the support of his anti-immigrant allies, he daily enacts his own shock doctrine to distract and disorient. As the crisis grows, so does the danger and potential for more harm.

            Yet as the crisis grows, so does the possibility for positive change.  It shouldn’t be too great a leap to see that anti-violence and anti-poverty assistance to other nations represents a far wiser investment than millions spent on drones and other military equipment.  Nor, with some degree of awareness, should it be too difficult to perceive the immorality of incarcerating migrants in detention facilities – and the far better (and more cost-effective) alternative of community accompaniment programs that help people integrate into communities.  Nor should it be impossible to grasp that lifting the taint of criminalization from millions can help actualize human potential in unimagined ways.   

            These views may seem alien or even threatening to many people in our current political climate, and it will be difficult and fatiguing to ensure a fair hearing for them amidst the noise of the Trump shock doctrine.  But much present suffering hangs in the balance – as does, in the longer term, the promise of a broader and richer vision of human community.

 Andrew Moss, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is an emeritus professor at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he taught a course, “War and Peace inLiterature,” for 10 years.

Local

PVA meeting recap

Here is a link to the recap of the February PVA meeting:

https://pva-nm.org/meeting-recaps/

Also, please check out our calendar of events – find something you’re interested in and import it directly into your calendar!

Mark your calendars, the next PVA meeting will be:
Thursday, March 28, 7:00pm
          Munson Senior Center, Las Cruces

Border

Environment

NMSU to host Two Nations One Water Summit April 23-25

Water scarcity is a critical issue for New Mexico, Texas and Mexico, and the Two Nations One Water U.S.-Mexico Border Water Summit 2019 will address this challenge and more at the April 23-25 event at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute at New Mexico State University will host the conference, which is in its second year.

“The Two Nations One Water conference provides a platform for a broad audience to explore adaptive water strategies for managing drought in the border region,” said Pei Xu, NMSU civil engineering associate professor. “The conference will address the complex interrelationships among water, agriculture, energy, the economy and socio-political realities. It provides an opportunity for managers, policy makers, government and non-governmental agencies, researchers, students, farmers, ranchers, producers and other stakeholders to participate in learning, sharing and networking. Participants from the U.S. and Mexico will present and share their experiences on water issues along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“We are experiencing drastically reduced surface water supplies, declining groundwater quality and quantity, and cumulative effects of more than a decade of drought conditions,” Xu said. “Climate science indicates our region will have a permanent shift to a more arid climate. Water scarcity has affected communities, industry, local farmers and ranchers because they rely on conventional fresh water supplies. Improving the resiliency of water supply in an increasingly arid climate is a key challenge for water planners and managers.”

The conference begins April 23 with a field trip to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

The first full-day of the event, April 24, will begin with welcome speech from Ed Archuleta, director of Water Initiatives for the University of Texas at El Paso, and opening remarks from U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small. Along with presentations, panel discussions and a student poster session, Mike Hightower from the University of New Mexico and New Mexico Desalination Association will present the keynote address, One Province/One Water.

The conference concludes April 25 with presentations, panel discussions and breakout group discussions. Jayne Harkins from the International Boundary and Water Commission will give the keynote address, Water Management Along the U.S.-Mexico Border.

“I am very happy to work with colleagues at NM WRRI, NMSU, UTEP and Texas A&M to organize this important conference,” Xu said. “We have also received great support and sponsorship from water utilities, industry and government agencies.”

General admission is $50 per person, $100 per person the day of the event and students are $10, which includes two continental breakfasts and two luncheons. The field trip to the desalination research facility is $25 per person and students are no charge. For the full agenda or to register for the event visit https://www.twonationsonewater.org.

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    Links

  • The Light of New Mexico
  • Green Fire Times
  • Transition Times--Colorado
  • Heath Haussamen: NM Politics
  • Thomas Wark
  • Carolyn Baker: “Speaking truth to power”
  • James Howard Kunstler: The Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle
  • Dada's Dally: defies description
  • Desert Journal: NM online newspaper
  • Bruce Gagnon: Organizing Notes
  • Sally Erickson: The end of empire
  • Steve Klinger’s music and blogs: Songs for change; music blog
  • Progressive Democratic activist site
  • Gordon Solberg
  • Brenda Norrell: Censored and under-reported news
  • Rio Grande Digital: Las Cruce/El Paso/Juarez news and culture
  • JourneySantaFe—Water: Who Controls It?

  • Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.