But there was on particular line that drew my attention, "We must continue to denounce the evil of family separation, the militarization of our border communities, for-profit immigration detention, the mistreatment of asylum seekers, and the disparagement of our Muslim brothers and sisters."
For-profit immigration detention.
Essentially that is the policy we practice in El Paso County, right now, as you are reading this post. Its an embarrassment and shameful policy that people think is somewhere far off, or some corporate jail facility.
Well if you listen to what county leaders say, it describes El Paso County perfectly. We even expanded the jail annex to accommodate even more.
Today Sheriff Wiles will be in front of County Judge Veronica Escobar and the rest of commissioners court as part of the budget hearings that are just now getting started. THIS is the time that commissioners should be discussing this issue.
And frankly, this is the time for the County Judge, Sheriff Wiles, and Commissioner Stout to put up.
A few weeks ago when Commissioner Perez raised the issue of the county jail contract with the federal government to house undocumented immigrants in our jails, rather than stick to principles she's professed for years and be an advocate for those immigrants and fix a very broken policy, she instead took a different road.
She was very snarky when she said that as much of a genius as Commissioner Perez is, "no one is infallible". She tried to undermine the confidence of the research his office had done on the issue. Based on what?
So now is the time that they should be discussing this issue. Now is the time that the Judge should come forward with whatever she feels calls Commissioner Perez's data into question - otherwise it was just a political maneuver to save face because its as a bad policy that happened entirely under her watch.
The hypocrisy is unbearable.
Now its go time. The County Judge now has to either show how Commissioner Perez was completely off his fucking rocker when they conducted their analysis (of the County's own data mind you), she has to fix the problem, or she has to go against what she has professed as an immigration reform advocate for years.
Why is it so important now?
Because of this article in USA Today yesterday that also ran in the El Paso Times, which is where I saw it. The article basically says that there are less deportations happening under the Trump administration because there are more apprehensions and there is now a bottle neck.
The fix is to this is really interesting. Its in the last paragraph of the article. It says that Attorney General Sessions dispatched 25 more immigration judges to the southwest and will likely add more.
So more are going to be incarcerated for a longer period of time until that bottle neck is fixed.
But Escobar's argument has been that getting rid of the jail contract isn't going to fix our broken immigration system. Thats a total cop-out. We can all do something.
"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
Robert F. Kennedy said that. People don't talk like that anymore, but I like to believe that they still believe like that.
Sheriff Wiles? Well he says the policy of local law enforcement housing the undocumented creates jobs, so he's totally cool with it. So if your argument is that it creates jobs, then El Paso is absolutely profiting off of this bad policy and you can't hide behind that talking point anymore.
And let me close with another quote from the Bishop, "Our broken system of immigration is a wound on this border community. It is a scandal to the Body of Christ in El Paso."