Hanen’s New Decision, Our New Resolution

In addition to waiving 39 laws through its use of the REAL ID Act, the federal branch of the U.S. government notched another victory in its continuing lawsuits against homeowners on the border. UTB Professor Eloisa Tamez, who has been refusing the government access to her land since January, was just ordered by Judge Hanen on Thursday to allow the government to survey her land for six months.

73-year-old Eloisa Tamez wanted to know the government’s intentions in detail, but the government stated that it wouldn’t know those intentions or the scope of its construction until it surveyed her Spanish land-grant acreage. This deliberate murkiness has permeated every phase of the U.S. government’s efforts to raise a wall on la frontera. From the Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) report, which gave two different proposed trajectories of the wall so that no one is quite sure where it will be built, to the indiscriminate waiving of laws to expedite a process which is either top-secret or undecided or both – every interaction of the government with the people of this Rio Grande Valley has been evasive and less than honest.

For a $50 billion project, the American public deserves the right to know exactly what it is going to look like. The EIS report shows metal fencing, plexi-glass, concrete walls, and double-thick walls, all of which are “possibilities,” yet none of which are decided upon. The government report shows tiny paths of entry for small lizards and rodents, but government officials have also promised people like Jimmy Paz, the manager of Sabal Palms Audobon Sanctuary, that they will have a gate and a key for such a wall. Even the intended purpose of the wall, which began as a piece of immigration legislation, has been touted as a solution to terrorism, drug-smuggling, Social Security, and borderland trash. No one is quite sure how the wall will look, how it will impact the communities, and what effects it will have. Yet still, it has managed to pass through our legislature and dozens of local courts on its way to presumably land in the Rio Grande Valley by the beginning of next month.

Although members of the Smart Borders group will continue visiting local communities along the RGV corridor in order to alert them to their rights and register them to vote, we must also begin training and preparing for a nonviolent campaign of direct action. Should bulldozers come to our peaceful Valley, we must be prepared to engage in the civil disobedience which transformed India and Jim Crow. These apparent defeats for the rights of border residents must not discourage and enervate but encourage and inspire us to bring this issue to national attention. Please join us as we oppose an unjust law in a morally ascendant manner.

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2 Responses to “Hanen’s New Decision, Our New Resolution”

  1. Jay Dee Says:

    You go and get involved with civil disobedience. You would not want to come up with a constructive solution to stop Illegal Border Crossings. The American people want the Illegal Border Crossings to STOP. The solution to the problem is in that demand. The method is immaterial. The Illegal Crossing must STOP. North Korea STOPS Illegal Border Crossings. What the US needs to do is look at the North Korean success.

  2. kielfharell Says:

    “The method is immaterial”

    I would strongly disagree with this statement. The method always needs to be examined. Means and ends are linked. If we want to stop illegal border crossings (which I do), we need to create systems that allow people to come into this country legally and simultaneously work on policies that will alleviate the push out of their home countries.

    As for North Korea, they are currently punishing their citizens that cross their borders into China with 5 year prison terms. These people are looking for a better life, or at the very least, food.

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