industryterm:cement

  • Child Inmates of South Korea’s Immigration Jail

    Helene* had a challenge that no mother would want. She, with her husband, was a refugee in a foreign land with a foreign language, trying despite all odds to raise her children as best she could. If this weren’t enough of a challenge, Helene was in jail, locked up in a 10-person cell with others she didn’t know. The only time she could leave her cell was for a 30-minute exercise time each day. But her task was more daunting still. Her children were locked up with her.

    Helene’s jail was an immigration detention facility, and her crime was not having enough money to begin refugee applicant proceedings. She spent 23 days in that cell with her two sons. Her oldest, Emerson, was three years and eight months old, and her youngest, Aaron, was only 13 months old. She watched their mental health and physical health slowly deteriorate while her pleadings for help fell on deaf ears.

    *

    In June, American news media were shocked by the revelation that migrant children, who were only guilty of not possessing legal migrant status, were being held in large-scale detention facilities. This was something new—a part of President Donald Trump’s ‘tough on immigration’ stance.

    In South Korea, detaining children simply due to their migration status, or the migration status of their parents, is standard practice.

    Children make up a very small percentage of the total picture of unregistered migrants in South Korea. However, as the nation’s foreign population reaches 2 million and beyond, that small percentage becomes a large number in real terms. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) doesn’t keep statistics on the exact number of unregistered child migrants in the country.

    Most unregistered child migrants in South Korea fall into one of two broad categories: teenagers who come alone, and infants or toddlers brought by their parents or born to migrants already living in the country. In both cases, the majority of children (or their parents) come from other parts of Asia seeking work in the industrial sector.

    These children often end up in detention facilities when immigration authorities carry out routine crackdowns targeting workplaces in industrial districts or transportation routes workers use to get to these districts. Authorities, by policy, detain any unregistered migrant who is 14 or older. Younger children are technically exempt from detention orders, but parents are often caught in crackdowns while with their children. The parents can’t leave their children on the street to fend for themselves, and so, left with no other options, they choose to bring their children with them into the detention facilities.

    Helene’s case was different. She and her husband brought their sons to South Korea with them when they fled religious persecution in their home country of Liberia. The South Korean government rejected their refugee applications, and the family only had enough money to begin a legal challenge for one person. Emerson and Aaron, along with Helene, became unregistered migrants.

    How they were detained would be comical if their case were not so tragic. After a trip to a hospital, the family was trying to board a subway to return home. Their stroller could not fit through the turnstiles, and after a brief altercation an upset station manager called the police. The police asked to see the family’s papers, but only Helene’s husband had legal status. The police were obligated to arrest Helene due to her unregistered status and turn her over to immigration authorities. Because her children were very young – the youngest was still breastfeeding – she had no viable option but to bring her children with her.

    *

    Helene and her sons were sent to an immigration detention facility in Hwaseong, some 60 kilometers southwest of Seoul. Inside and out, the facility is indistinguishable from a prison. Detainees wear blue jumpsuits with the ironic Korean phrase “protected foreigner” printed in large white letters on the back. They live in 10-person cells with cement walls and steel bars at the front. Each cell has a small common area up front with tables, a sleeping area in the middle, and a bathroom at the back.

    For detainees, these cells become the entirety of their existence until they are released. Food is delivered through a gap in the bars, and the only opportunity to leave the cell is for a brief 30-minute exercise period each day.

    These facilities were never intended to house children, and authorities make little to no effort to accommodate them. Young children have to live in a cell with a parent and as many as eight other adults, all unknown to the child. The detention center doesn’t provide access to pediatricians, child appropriate play and rest time, or even food suitable for young children.

    Government policy states that education is provided only for children detained for more than 30 days. Children have no other children to interact with, and no space to play or explore. During daytime, when the sleeping mats are rolled up and stored, the sleeping area becomes a large open space where children could play. According to Helene, whenever her sons entered that area guards would shout at them to come back to the common area at the front of the cell.

    Emerson’s fear of the guards’ reprimand grew to the point that he refused to use the toilets at the back of the cell because that would mean crossing the sleeping area, instead choosing to soil himself. Even after the family was eventually released, Emerson’s psychological trauma and his refusal to use bathrooms remained.

    The stress and anxiety of being locked in a prison cell naturally takes a severe toll on children’s wellbeing. Like the adults they’re detained with, they don’t know what will happen to them or when they will be released. Unlike the adults, they don’t understand why they are in a prison cell to begin with. Without any way to alleviate the situation, the stress and anxiety they feel turn into mental disorders. These conditions can include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even increased rates of suicide and self-harm.

    Kim Jong Chul has seen many examples of these symptoms firsthand. Kim is a lawyer with APIL, a public interest law firm, and he’s worked to secure the release of many migrant children held in detention.

    In one such case, May, a 5-year-old migrant from China, spent 20 days in a detention facility with her mother. Over those 20 days, May’s extreme anxiety produced insomnia, a high fever, swollen lips and more. Despite this, her guards never brought a doctor to examine her.

    For most migrants in immigration custody, children included, their release comes only when they are deported. In 2016, authorities held 29,926 migrants in detention, and 96 percent of them were deported. The whole deportation process, from arrest to boarding a plane, typically takes ten days.

    But for children, ten days in detention are enough to develop severe stress and anxiety. Special cases, including refugee applications or a migrant laborer with unpaid wages, can take much longer to process. South Korea’s immigration law doesn’t set an upper limit on migrant detention, and there are cases of migrants held for more than a year. The law also doesn’t require regular judicial review or in-person checks from a case worker at any point in the process. According to Kim from APIL, the longest child detention in recent years was 141 days.

    Existing children’s welfare services would benefit migrant children, but the MOJ opposes any such idea. In the view of the MOJ and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, welfare facilities should be reserved only for citizens and foreigners with legal status.

    Children between the ages of 14 and 18 are yet another matter. The MOJ’s stance is that most of these children are physically similar to adults, highly likely to commit crimes and in general a danger to society, and they need to be detained.

    Kim argues that it’s hard to interpret the MOJ’s stance that migrant teenagers are all potential criminals as anything other than institutional racism. South Korean citizens who are under 18 are considered minors and treated differently in the eyes of the law.

    International treaties ban detaining children, including teenagers, due to migration status, and the South Korean government has signed and ratified each of the UN treaties that relate to children’s rights. It means that under the country’s constitution, the treaties have the same power as domestic law. And yet abuses persist.

    Lawmaker Keum Tae-seob from the ruling Minjoo Party—often called one of the most progressive members of the National Assembly— is fighting this reality. He has proposed a revision to the current immigration law that would ban detention of migrant children, but it has met opposition from the MOJ. Ironically, the ministry argues that because South Korea has signed the relevant international treaties, there is no need to pass a separate domestic law that would ban such detention. This is despite the fact that immigration authorities, who belong to the MOJ, have detained over 200 children over the past 3 years, including many under the age of 14.

    To rally support for a ban on detaining migrant children, APIL and World Vision Korea launched an awareness campaign in 2016, complete with a slick website, emotional videos and a petition. As of this writing, the petition has just under 9,000 signatures, and APIL is hoping to reach 10,000.
    Back in June of last year, another petition received significant media attention. A group of Yemeni refugee applicants—fewer than 600—arrived on the island of Jeju, and in response a citizen’s petition against accepting refugees on the office of the president’s website garnered over 714,000 signatures. A collection of civic groups even organized an anti-refugee rally in Seoul that same month.

    APIL’s campaign has been underway for more than two years, but the recent reaction to Yemeni refugees in Jeju has unveiled how difficult it will be change the government’s position on asylum seekers. A Human Rights Watch report released on Thursday also minced no words in critiquing the government policies: “even though [South Korean president] Moon Jae-in is a former human rights lawyer,” he “did little to defend the rights of women, refugees, and LGBT persons in South Korea.”

    For now, Keum’s bill is still sitting in committee, pending the next round of reviews. Helene’s family has been in the UK since her husband’s refugee status lawsuit failed.

    *Helene is a pseudonym to protect the identity of her and her family.

    https://www.koreaexpose.com/child-migrant-inmates-south-korea-immigration-jail-hwaseong
    #enfants #enfance #mineurs #rétention #détention_administrative #Corée_du_Sud #migrations #sans-papiers #réfugiés #asile

  • Climate change: The massive #CO2 emitter you may not know about - BBC News
    https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46455844

    Not only does the production of Portland cement involve quarrying - causing airborne #pollution in the form of dust - it also requires the use of massive kilns, which require large amounts of energy.

    The actual chemical process of making cement also emits staggeringly high levels of CO2.

    #béton #ciment #climat

  • Swiss startup Energy Vault is stacking concrete blocks to store energy — Quartz
    https://qz.com/1355672/stacking-concrete-blocks-is-a-surprisingly-efficient-way-to-store-energy

    mix substances that cities often pay to get rid off, such as gravel or building waste, along with cement to create low-cost concrete blocks. The cost saving comes from having to use only a sixth of the amount of cement that would otherwise have been needed if the concrete were used for building construction

  • Prada Marfa’s immigrant architecture is more relevant than ever - Archpaper.com
    https://archpaper.com/2018/08/prada-marfa-immigrant-architecture

    Political Context

    Prada Marfa is a building born out of the political tensions arising in post-9/11 America, in which Afghanistan, Iraq, and Mexico become scapegoats. In 2003, a United States-led coalition invaded Iraq, beginning an eight-year war, and in 2005, Duncan Hunter, who at the time was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, called for the construction of a wall along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico. This led to his amendment to the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005, which called for 698 miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This paved the way for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which President George W. Bush signed to “help protect the American people” from several purported threats, but primarily terrorism, which was the major focus of the era’s political rhetoric.

    Borderlands Architecture

    Prada Marfa is constructed out of traditional adobe bricks which have long been used in the region but are frequently perceived as an inferior material despite their ecological and climatological responsiveness. Adobe bricks provide the foundation for the oldest extant buildings in the region, as well as many of the area’s most important cultural and heritage sites, including artist Donald Judd’s own Block compound in Marfa. Directly referencing Judd and the military building traditions he emulated, the adobe bricks are intentionally set in a cement-based mortar. Judd recognized that this was the technique employed in the construction of barracks, hangars, and forts in the region, and Prada Marfa is constructed to reflect this mistrust of local traditions of the militaristic architecture that secures the border displays. Adobe brick was validated as a construction material, but not adobe mortar, which is more likely to be used on the humble houses of Mexicans and Mexican Americans on both sides of the contemporary border.

    #frontières #mexique #états-unis #architecture

  • Under Sisi, firms owned by Egypt’s military have flourished
    https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/egypt-economy-military

    In the four years since former armed forces chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became Egypt’s president, companies owned by the military have gone from strength to strength. Local businessmen and foreign investors are concerned.

    By Reuters staff Filed May 16, 2018, 11 a.m. GMT

    CAIRO – In a four-decade military career, Osama Abdel Meguid served in the first Gulf War and was an assistant military attaché in the United States.

    These days he issues orders from an office that overlooks the Nile, as chairman of the Maadi Co. for Engineering Industries, owned by the Ministry of Military Production.

    Maadi was founded in 1954 to manufacture grenade launchers, pistols and machine guns. In recent years the firm, which employs 1,400 people, has begun turning out greenhouses, medical devices, power equipment and gyms. It has plans for four new factories.

    “There are so many projects we are working on,” said Abdel Meguid, a 61-year-old engineer, listing orders including a 495 million Egyptian pound ($28 million) project for the Ministry of Electricity and an Algerian agricultural waste recycling contract worth $400,000.

    Maadi is one of dozens of military-owned companies that have flourished since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former armed forces chief, became president in 2014, a year after leading the military in ousting Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

    The military owns 51 percent of a firm that is developing a new $45 billion capital city 75 km east of Cairo. Another military-owned company is building Egypt’s biggest cement plant. Other business interests range from fish farms to holiday resorts.

    In interviews conducted over the course of a year, the chairmen of nine military-owned firms described how their businesses are expanding and discussed their plans for future growth. Figures from the Ministry of Military Production - one of three main bodies that oversee military firms - show that revenues at its firms are rising sharply. The ministry’s figures and the chairmen’s accounts give rare insight into the way the military is growing in economic influence.

  • Rain of terror: Egypt to crack down on ’fake’ weather reports | World news | The Guardian

    Meteorological authority prepares draft law to ban unauthorised forecasts

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/30/egypt-crackdown-fake-weather-reports-meteorological-association

    Donald Trump may routinely rail against the “fake news media”, but Egypt is going one better by cracking down on “fake” weather reports.

    The head of the Egyptian Meteorological Authority has said it is the only government body authorised to make predictions about the country’s weather, and is preparing a draft law to ban unauthorised forecasts.

    Ahmed Abdel-Al, the EMA chairman, said during a television interview that the bill seeks to punish anyone “talking about meteorology, or anyone using a weather forecasting device without our consent, or anyone who raises confusion about the weather”. The EMA is Egypt’s primary, if not sole, source of domestic information on the country’s weather patterns.

    Egypt’s media is under increasing pressure, with frequent accusations of fake news levelled at reporters and outlets, even those reporting in favour of the state. But false reports about the weather are rare, except perhaps for the annual repetition of doctored photos showing snow covering the pyramids and sphinx of Giza.

    Weather reports have occasionally become political, however, such as when Egypt’s interior ministry claimed in 2015 that flooding in the coastal city of Alexandria was caused not by infrastructural failings, but by members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood blocking drains with cement.

  • Separating children and parents at the border is cruel and unnecessary

    The Trump administration has shown that it’s willing — eager, actually — to go to great lengths to limit illegal immigration into the United States, from building a multi-billion-dollar border wall with Mexico to escalated roundups that grab those living here without permission even if they have no criminal record and are longtime, productive members of their communities. Now the administration’s cold-hearted approach to enforcement has crossed the line into abject inhumanity: the forced separation of children from parents as they fight for legal permission to remain in the country.

    How widespread is the practice? That’s unclear. The Department of Homeland Security declined comment because it is being sued over the practice. It ignored a request for statistics on how many children it has separated from their parents, an unsurprising lack of transparency from an administration that faces an unprecedented number of lawsuits over its failure to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests for government — read: public — records. But immigrant rights activists say they have noticed a jump, and in December, a coalition of groups filed a complaint with Homeland Security over the practice.
    When parents and children cross the border and tell border patrol agents they would like to apply for asylum, they often are taken into custody while their request is considered. Under the Obama administration, the families were usually released to the care of a relative or organization, or held in a family detention center. But under President Trump, the parents — usually mothers traveling without their spouses — who sneak across the border then turn themselves in are increasing being charged with the misdemeanor crime of entering the country illegally, advocates say. And since that is a criminal charge, not a civil violation of immigration codes, the children are spirited away to a youth detention center with no explanation. Sometimes, parents and children are inexplicably separated even when no charges are lodged. Activists believe the government is splitting families to send a message of deterrence: Dare to seek asylum at the border and we’ll take your child.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-immigrants-border-asylum-ice-201802305-story.html
    #frontières #unité_familiale #séparation #enfants #enfance #parents #asile #migrations #réfugiés #USA #Etats-Unis #détention_administrative #rétention #dissuasion

    • Familias rotas, familias vaciadas

      Es delgada y pequeña. No rebasa el 1.60. La habitación en la que duerme —en el segundo piso del albergue para veteranos deportados que creó Héctor Barajas— tiene una cama con un oso de peluche que ella misma confeccionó y una mesa para cuatro personas. La sonrisa que a veces asoma en su rostro nunca llega a sus ojos, oscuros y con marcadas ojeras. Se llama Yolanda Varona y tiene prohibido, de por vida, entrar a Estados Unidos, el país donde trabajó 16 años y donde viven sus dos hijos y tres nietos.


      https://www.revistadelauniversidad.mx/articles/d2c0ac01-e2e8-464f-9d4e-266920f634fc/familias-rotas-familias-vaciadas

    • Taking Migrant Children From Parents Is Illegal, U.N. Tells U.S.

      The Trump administration’s practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice.

      The administration angrily rejected what it called an ignorant attack by the United Nations human rights office and accused the global organization of hypocrisy.

      The human rights office said it appeared that, as The New York Times revealed in April, United States authorities had separated several hundred children, including toddlers, from their parents or others claiming to be their family members, under a policy of criminally prosecuting undocumented people crossing the border.

      That practice “amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child,” Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, based in Geneva, told reporters.

      Last month, the Trump administration announced a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings, saying that it would significantly increase criminal prosecutions of migrants. Officials acknowledged that putting more adults in jail would mean separating more children from their families.

      “The U.S. should immediately halt this practice of separating families and stop criminalizing what should at most be an administrative offense — that of irregular entry or stay in the U.S.,” Ms. Shamdasani said.

      You have 4 free articles remaining.
      Subscribe to The Times

      The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, clearly showed American irritation with the accusation in a statement released a few hours later.

      “Once again, the United Nations shows its hypocrisy by calling out the United States while it ignores the reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own Human Rights Council,” Ms. Haley said. “While the High Commissioner’s office ignorantly attacks the United States with words, the United States leads the world with its actions, like providing more humanitarian assistance to global conflicts than any other nation.”

      Without addressing the specifics of the accusation, Ms. Haley said: “Neither the United Nations nor anyone else will dictate how the United States upholds its borders.”
      EDITORS’ PICKS
      The Last Days of Time Inc.
      Overlooked No More: She Followed a Trail to Wyoming. Then She Blazed One.
      In Britain, Austerity Is Changing Everything

      The administration has characterized its policy as being about illegal immigration, though many of the detained migrants — including those in families that are split apart — enter at official border crossings and request asylum, which is not an illegal entry. It has also said that some adults falsely claim to be the parents of accompanying children, a genuine problem, and that it has to sort out their claims.

      On Twitter, President Trump has appeared to agree that breaking up families was wrong, but blamed Democrats for the approach, saying that their “bad legislation” had caused it. In fact, no law requires separating children from families, and the practice was put in place by his administration just months ago.

      The Times found in April that over six months, about 700 children had been taken from people claiming to be their parents.

      The American Civil Liberties Union says that since then, the pace of separations has accelerated sharply. Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the group’s immigrant rights project, said that in the past five weeks, close to 1,000 children may have been taken from their families.

      Last year, as Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly raised the idea of separating children from their families when they entered the country as a way to deter movement across the Mexican border.

      Homeland Security officials have since denied that they separate families as part of a policy of deterrence, but have also faced sharp criticism from President Trump for failing to do more to curb the numbers of migrants crossing the border.

      For the United Nations, it was a matter of great concern that in the United States “migration control appears to have been prioritized over the effective care and protection of migrant children,” Ms. Shamdasani said.

      The United States is the only country in the world that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, she noted, but the practice of separating and detaining children breached its obligations under other international human rights conventions it has joined.

      “Children should never be detained for reasons related to their own or their parents’ migration status. Detention is never in the best interests of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation,” she said, calling on the authorities to adopt noncustodial alternatives.

      The A.C.L.U. has filed a class-action lawsuit in federal court in San Diego, calling for a halt to the practice and for reunification of families.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/05/world/americas/us-un-migrant-children-families.html

    • U.S. policy of separating refugees from children is illegal, horrific

      Somewhere in #Texas, a 3-year-old is crying into her pillow. She left all her toys behind when she fled Guatemala. And on this day the U.S. government took her mother away.

      When we read about the U.S. administration’s new policy of trying to stop people from crossing its borders by taking away their children, we too had trouble sleeping.


      https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/06/05/us-policy-of-separating-refugees-from-children-is-illegal-horrific.html

    • What’s Really Happening When Asylum-Seeking Families Are Separated ?

      An expert on helping parents navigate the asylum process describes what she’s seeing on the ground.

      Everyone involved in U.S. immigration along the border has a unique perspective on the new “zero tolerance” policies—most notably, the increasing number of migrant parents who are separated from their children. Some workers are charged with taking the children away from their parents and sending them into the care of Health and Human Services. Some are contracted to find housing for the children and get them food. Some volunteers try to help the kids navigate the system. Some, like Anne Chandler, assist the parents. As executive director of the Houston office of the nonprofit Tahirih Justice Center, which focuses on helping immigrant women and children, she has been traveling to the border and to detention centers, listening to the parents’ stories. We asked her to talk with us about what she has been hearing in recent weeks.

      This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

      Texas Monthly: First, can you give us an overview of your organization?

      Anne Chandler: We run the Children’s Border Project, and we work with hundreds of kids that have been released from ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] care. We are not a legal service provider that does work when they’re in the shelters. To date, most of our work with that issue of family separation has been working with the parents in the days when they are being separated: when they’re in the federal courthouse being convicted; partnering with the federal public defenders; and then in the adult detention center, as they have no idea how to communicate or speak to their children or get them back before being deported.

      TM: Can you take me through what you’ve been seeing?

      AC: The short of it is, we will take sample sizes of numbers and individuals we’re seeing that are being prosecuted for criminal entry. The majority of those are free to return to the home country. Vast majority. We can’t quite know exactly because our sample size is between one hundred and two hundred individuals. But 90 percent of those who are being convicted are having their children separated from them. The 10 percent that aren’t are some mothers who are going with their children to the detention centers in Karnes and Dilley. But, for the most part, the ones that I’ve been working with are the ones that are actually being prosecuted for criminal entry, which is a pretty new thing for our country—to take first-time asylum seekers who are here seeking safe refuge, to turn around and charge them with a criminal offense. Those parents are finding themselves in adult detention centers and in a process known as expedited removal, where many are being deported. And their children, on the other hand, are put in a completely different legal structure. They are categorized as unaccompanied children and thus are being put in place in a federal agency not with the Department of Homeland Security but with Health and Human Services. And Health and Human Services has this complicated structure in place where they’re not viewed as a long-term foster care system—that’s for very limited numbers—but their general mandate is to safeguard these children in temporary shelters and then find family members with whom they can be placed. So they start with parents, and then they go to grandparents, and then they go to other immediate family members, and then they go to acquaintances, people who’ve known the children, and they’re in that system, but they can’t be released to their parents because their parents are behind bars. And we may see more parents that get out of jail because they pass a “credible fear” interview, which is the screening done by the asylum office to see who should be deported quickly, within days or weeks of arrival, and who should stay here and have an opportunity to present their asylum case before an immigration judge of the Department of Justice. So we have a lot of individuals who are in that credible fear process right now, but in Houston, once you have a credible fear interview (which will sometimes take two to three weeks to even set up), those results aren’t coming out for four to six weeks. Meanwhile, these parents are just kind of languishing in these detention centers because of the zero-tolerance policy. There’s no individual adjudication of whether the parents should be put on some form of alternative detention program so that they can be in a position to be reunited with their kid.

      TM: So, just so I make sure I understand: the parents come in and say, “We’re persecuted” or give some reason for asylum. They come in. And then their child or children are taken away and they’re in lockup for at least six weeks away from the kids and often don’t know where the kids are. Is that what’s happening under zero tolerance?

      AC: So the idea of zero tolerance under the stated policy is that we don’t care why you’re afraid. We don’t care if it’s religion, political, gangs, anything. For all asylum seekers, you are going to be put in jail, in a detention center, and you’re going to have your children taken away from you. That’s the policy. They’re not 100 percent able to implement that because of a lot of reasons, including just having enough judges on the border. And bed space. There’s a big logistical problem because this is a new policy. So the way they get to that policy of taking the kids away and keeping the adults in detention centers and the kids in a different federal facility is based on the legal rationale that we’re going to convict you, and since we’re going to convict you, you’re going to be in the custody of the U.S. Marshals, and when that happens, we’re taking your kid away. So they’re not able to convict everybody of illegal entry right now just because there aren’t enough judges on the border right now to hear the number of cases that come over, and then they say if you have religious persecution or political persecution or persecution on something that our asylum definition recognizes, you can fight that case behind bars at an immigration detention center. And those cases take two, three, four, five, six months. And what happens to your child isn’t really our concern. That is, you have made the choice to bring your child over illegally. And this is what’s going to happen.

      TM: Even if they crossed at a legal entry point?

      AC: Very few people come to the bridge. Border Patrol is saying the bridge is closed. When I was last out in McAllen, people were stacked on the bridge, sleeping there for three, four, ten nights. They’ve now cleared those individuals from sleeping on the bridge, but there are hundreds of accounts of asylum seekers, when they go to the bridge, who are told, “I’m sorry, we’re full today. We can’t process your case.” So the families go illegally on a raft—I don’t want to say illegally; they cross without a visa on a raft. Many of them then look for Border Patrol to turn themselves in, because they know they’re going to ask for asylum. And under this government theory—you know, in the past, we’ve had international treaties, right? Statutes which codified the right of asylum seekers to ask for asylum. Right? Article 31 of the Refugee Convention clearly says that it is improper for any state to use criminal laws that could deter asylum seekers as long as that asylum seeker is asking for asylum within a reasonable amount of time. But our administration is kind of ignoring this longstanding international and national jurisprudence of basic beliefs to make this distinction that, if you come to a bridge, we’re not going to prosecute you, but if you come over the river and then find immigration or are caught by immigration, we’re prosecuting you.

      TM: So if you cross any other way besides the bridge, we’re prosecuting you. But . . . you can’t cross the bridge.

      AC: That’s right. I’ve talked to tons of people. There are organizations like Al Otro Lado that document border turn-backs. And there’s an effort to accompany asylum seekers so that Customs and Border Patrol can’t say, “We’re closed.” Everybody we’ve talked to who’s been prosecuted or separated has crossed the river without a visa.

      TM: You said you were down there recently?

      AC: Monday, June 4.

      TM: What was happening on the bridge at that point?

      AC: I talked to a lot of people who were there Saturdays and Sundays, a lot of church groups that are going, bringing those individuals umbrellas because they were in the sun. It’s morning shade, and then the sun—you know, it’s like 100 degrees on the cement. It’s really, really hot. So there were groups bringing diapers and water bottles and umbrellas and electric fans, and now everyone’s freaked out because they’re gone! What did they do with them? Did they process them all? Yet we know they’re saying you’re turned back. When I was in McAllen, the individuals that day who visited people on the bridge had been there four days. We’re talking infants; there were people breastfeeding on the bridge.

      TM: Are the infants taken as well?

      AC: Every border zone is different. We definitely saw a pattern in McAllen. We talked to 63 parents who had lost their children that day in the court. Of those, the children seemed to be all five and older. What we know from the shelters and working with people is that, yes, there are kids that are very young, that are breastfeeding babies and under three in the shelters, separated from their parents. But I’m just saying, in my experience, all those kids and all the parents’ stories were five and up.

      TM: Can you talk about how you’ve seen the process change over the past few months?

      AC: The zero-tolerance policy really started with Jeff Sessions’s announcement in May. One could argue that this was the original policy that we started seeing in the executive orders. One was called “border security and immigration enforcement.” And a lot of the principles underlying zero tolerance are found here. The idea is that we’re going to prosecute people.

      TM: And the policy of separating kids from parents went into effect when?

      AC: They would articulate it in various ways with different officials, but as immigration attorneys, starting in October, were like, “Oh my goodness. They are telling us these are all criminal lawbreakers and they’re going to have their children taken away.” We didn’t know what it would mean. And so we saw about six hundred children who were taken away from October to May, then we saw an explosion of the numbers in May. It ramped up. The Office of Refugee Resettlement taking in all these kids says that they are our children, that they are unaccompanied. It’s a fabrication. They’re not unaccompanied children. They are children that came with their parents, and the idea that we’re creating this crisis—it’s a manufactured crisis where we’re going to let children suffer to somehow allow this draconian approach with families seeking shelter and safe refuge.

      TM: So what is the process for separation?

      AC: There is no one process. Judging from the mothers and fathers I’ve spoken to and those my staff has spoken to, there are several different processes. Sometimes they will tell the parent, “We’re taking your child away.” And when the parent asks, “When will we get them back?” they say, “We can’t tell you that.” Sometimes the officers will say, “because you’re going to be prosecuted” or “because you’re not welcome in this country” or “because we’re separating them,” without giving them a clear justification. In other cases, we see no communication that the parent knows that their child is to be taken away. Instead, the officers say, “I’m going to take your child to get bathed.” That’s one we see again and again. “Your child needs to come with me for a bath.” The child goes off, and in a half an hour, twenty minutes, the parent inquires, “Where is my five-year-old?” “Where’s my seven-year-old?” “This is a long bath.” And they say, “You won’t be seeing your child again.” Sometimes mothers—I was talking to one mother, and she said, “Don’t take my child away,” and the child started screaming and vomiting and crying hysterically, and she asked the officers, “Can I at least have five minutes to console her?” They said no. In another case, the father said, “Can I comfort my child? Can I hold him for a few minutes?” The officer said, “You must let them go, and if you don’t let them go, I will write you up for an altercation, which will mean that you are the one that had the additional charges charged against you.” So, threats. So the father just let the child go. So it’s a lot of variations. But sometimes deceit and sometimes direct, just “I’m taking your child away.” Parents are not getting any information on what their rights are to communicate to get their child before they are deported, what reunification may look like. We spoke to nine parents on this Monday, which was the 11th, and these were adults in detention centers outside of Houston. They had been separated from their child between May 23 and May 25, and as of June 11, not one of them had been able to talk to their child or knew a phone number that functioned from the detention center director. None of them had direct information from immigration on where their child was located. The one number they were given by some government official from the Department of Homeland Security was a 1-800 number. But from the phones inside the detention center, they can’t make those calls. We know there are more parents who are being deported without their child, without any process or information on how to get their child back.

      TM: And so it’s entirely possible that children will be left in the country without any relatives?

      AC: Could be, yeah.

      TM: And if the child is, say, five years old . . .?

      AC: The child is going through deportation proceedings, so the likelihood that that child is going to be deported is pretty high.

      TM: How do they know where to deport the child to, or who the parents are?

      AC: How does that child navigate their deportation case without their parent around?

      TM: Because a five-year-old doesn’t necessarily know his parents’ information.

      AC: In the shelters, they can’t even find the parents because the kids are just crying inconsolably. They often don’t know the full legal name of their parents or their date of birth. They’re not in a position to share a trauma story like what caused the migration. These kids and parents had no idea. None of the parents I talked to were expecting to be separated as they faced the process of asking for asylum.

      TM: I would think that there would be something in place where, when the child is taken, they’d be given a wristband or something with their information on it?

      AC: I think the Department of Homeland Security gives the kids an alien number. They also give the parents an alien number and probably have that information. The issue is that the Department of Homeland Security is not the one caring for the children. Jurisdiction of that child has moved over to Health and Human Services, and the Health and Human Services staff has to figure out, where is this parent? And that’s not easy. Sometimes the parents are deported. Kids are in New York and Miami, and we’ve got parents being sent to Tacoma, Washington, and California. Talk about a mess. And nobody has a right to an attorney here. These kids don’t get a paid advocate or an ad litem or a friend of the court. They don’t get a paid attorney to represent them. Some find that, because there are programs. But it’s not a right. It’s not universal.

      TM: What agency is in charge of physically separating the children and the adults?

      AC: The Department of Homeland Security. We saw the separation take place while they were in the care and custody of Customs and Border Protection. That’s where it was happening, at a center called the Ursula, which the immigrants called La Perrera, because it looked like a dog pound, a dog cage. It’s a chain-link fence area, long running areas that remind Central Americans of the way people treat dogs.

      TM: So the Department of Homeland Security does the separation and then they immediately pass the kids to HHS?

      AC: I don’t have a bird’s-eye view of this, besides interviewing parents. Parents don’t know. All they know is that the kid hasn’t come back to their little room in CBP. Right? We know from talking to advocates and attorneys who have access to the shelters that they think that these kids leave in buses to shelters run by the Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement Department of Unaccompanied Children Services—which, on any given day there’s like three thousand kids in the Harlingen-Brownsville area. We know there are eight, soon to be nine, facilities in Houston. And they’re going to open up this place in Tornillo, along the border by El Paso. And they’re opening up places in Miami. They’re past capacity. This is a cyclical time, where rates of migration increase. So now you’re creating two populations. One is your traditional unaccompanied kids who are just coming because their life is at risk right now in El Salvador and Honduras and parts of Guatemala, and they come with incredible trauma, complex stories, and need a lot of resources, and so they navigate this immigration system. And now we have this new population, which is totally different: the young kids who don’t hold their stories and aren’t here to self-navigate the system and are crying out for their parents. There are attorneys that get money to go in and give rights presentations to let the teenagers know what they can ask for in court, what’s happening with their cases, and now the attorneys are having a hard time doing that because right next to them, in the other room, they’ve got kids crying and wailing, asking for their mom and dad. The attorneys can’t give these kids information. They’re just trying to learn grounding exercises.

      TM: Do you know if siblings are allowed to stay together?

      AC: We don’t know. I dealt with one father who knew that siblings were not at the same location from talking to his family member. He believes they’re separated. But I have no idea. Can’t answer that question.

      TM: Is there another nonprofit similar to yours that handles kids more than adults?

      AC: Yes: in Houston it’s Catholic Charities. We know in Houston they are going to open up shelters specific for the tender-age kids, which is defined as kids under twelve. And that’s going to be by Minute Maid Stadium. And that facility is also going to have some traditional demographic of pregnant teenagers. But it’s going to be a young kid—and young kids are, almost by definition, separated. Kids usually do not migrate on their own at that age.

      TM: That’s usually teens?

      AC: Teens. Population is thirteen to seventeen, with many more fifteen-, sixteen-, and seventeen-year-olds than thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds. They’re riding on top of trains. You know, the journey is very dangerous. Usually that’s the age where the gangs start taking the girls and saying “you’re going to be my sex slave”–type of stuff. I’ve heard that it’s going to be run by a nonprofit. ORR does not hold the shelters directly. They contract with nonprofits whose job it is to provide essential food, mental health care, caseworkers to try to figure out who they’re going to be released to, and all those functions to nonprofits, and I think the nonprofit in charge of this one is Southwest Key.

      TM: So how long do the kids stay in the facility?

      AC: It used to be, on average, thirty days. But that’s going up now. There are many reasons for that: one, these facilities and ORR are not used to working with this demographic of young children. Two, DHS is sharing information with ORR on the background of those families that are taking these children, and we’ve seen raids where they’re going to where the children are and looking for individuals in those households who are undocumented. So there is reticence and fear of getting these children if there’s someone in the household who is not a citizen.

      TM: So if I’m understanding correctly, a relative can say, “Well, I can pick that kid up; that’s my niece.” She comes and picks up the child. And then DHS will follow them home? Is that what you’re saying?

      AC: No. The kid would go to the aunt’s house, but let’s just imagine that she is here on a visa, a student visa, but the aunt falls out of visa status and is undocumented and her information, her address, is at the top of DHS’s files. So we’ve seen this happen a lot: a month or two weeks after kids have been released, DHS goes to those foster homes and arrests people and puts people in jail and deports them.

      TM: And then I guess they start all over again trying to find a home for those kids?

      AC: Right.

      TM: What is explained to the kids about the proceedings, and who explains it to them?

      AC: The Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement goes through an organization called the Vera Institute of Justice that then contracts with nonprofit organizations who hire attorneys and other specialized bilingual staff to go into these shelters and give what they call legal orientation programs for children, and they do group orientation. Sometimes they speak to the kids individually and try to explain to them, “This is the process here; and you’re going to have to go see an immigration judge; and these are your rights before a judge; you won’t have an attorney for your case, but you can hire one. If you’re afraid to go back to your country, you have to tell the judge.” That type of stuff.

      TM: And if the child is five, and alone, doesn’t have older siblings or cousins—

      AC: Or three or four. They’re young in our Houston detention centers. And that’s where these attorneys are frustrated—they can’t be attorneys. How do they talk and try to console and communicate with a five-year-old who is just focused on “I want my mom or dad,” right?

      TM: Are the kids whose parents are applying for asylum processed differently from kids whose parents are not applying for asylum?

      AC: I don’t know. These are questions we ask DHS, but we don’t know the answers.

      TM: Why don’t you get an answer?

      AC: I don’t know. To me, if you’re going to justify this in some way under the law, the idea that these parents don’t have the ability to obtain very simple answers—what are my rights and when can I be reunited with my kid before I’m deported without them?—is horrible. And has to go far below anything we, as a civil society of law, should find acceptable. The fact that I, as an attorney specializing in this area, cannot go to a detention center and tell a mother or father what the legal procedure is for them to get their child or to reunite with their child, even if they want to go home?

      And my answer is, “I don’t think you can.” In my experience, they’re not releasing these children to the parents as they’re deported. To put a structure like that in place and the chaos in the system for “deterrence” and then carry out so much pain on the backs of some already incredibly traumatized mothers and fathers who have already experienced sometimes just horrific violence is unacceptable.

      https://www.texasmonthly.com/news/whats-really-happening-asylum-seeking-families-separated

      Mise en exergue d’un passage :

      The child goes off, and in a half an hour, twenty minutes, the parent inquires, “Where is my five-year-old?” “Where’s my seven-year-old?” “This is a long bath.” And they say, “You won’t be seeing your child again.”

    • Why the US is separating migrant children from their parents

      US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has defended the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border with Mexico, a measure that has faced increasing criticism.

      The “zero-tolerance” policy he announced last month sees adults who try to cross the border, many planning to seek asylum, being placed in custody and facing criminal prosecution for illegal entry.

      As a result, hundreds of minors are now being housed in detention centres, and kept away from their parents.
      What is happening?

      Over a recent six-week period, nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents after illegally crossing the border, figures released on Friday said.

      Mr Sessions said those entering the US irregularly would be criminally prosecuted, a change to a long-standing policy of charging most of those crossing for the first time with a misdemeanour offence.

      As the adults are being charged with a crime, the children that come with them are being separated and deemed unaccompanied minors.

      Advocates of separations point out that hundreds of children are taken from parents who commit crimes in the US on a daily basis.

      As such, they are placed in custody of the Department of Health and Human Services and sent to a relative, foster home or a shelter - officials at those places are said to be already running out of space to house them.

      In recent days, a former Walmart in Texas has been converted into a detention centre for immigrant children.

      Officials have also announced plans to erect tent cities to hold hundreds more children in the Texas desert where temperatures regularly reach 40C (105F).

      Local lawmaker Jose Rodriguez described the plan as “totally inhumane” and “outrageous”, adding: “It should be condemned by anyone who has a moral sense of responsibility.”

      US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials estimate that around 1,500 people are arrested each day for illegally crossing the border.

      In the first two weeks of the “zero-tolerance” new approach, 658 minors - including many babies and toddlers - were separated from the adults that came with them, according to the CBP.

      The practice, however, was apparently happening way before that, with reports saying more than 700 families had been affected between October and April.

      Not only the families crossing irregularly are being targeted, activists who work at the border say, but also those presenting themselves at a port of entry.

      “This is really extreme, it’s nothing like we have seen before,” said Michelle Brané, director of Migrant Rights and Justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, a New York-based non-governmental organisation that is helping some of these people.

      In many of the cases, the families have already been reunited, after the parent was released from detention. However, there are reports of people being kept apart for weeks and even months.

      Family separations had been reported in previous administrations but campaigners say the numbers then were very small.
      Whose fault is it?

      Mr Trump has blamed Democrats for the policy, saying “we have to break up the families” because of a law that “Democrats gave us”.

      It is unclear what law he is referring to, but no law has been passed by the US Congress that mandates that migrant families be separated.

      Fact-checkers say that the only thing that has changed is the Justice Department’s decision to criminally prosecute parents for a first-time border crossing offence. Because their children are not charged with a crime, they are not permitted to be jailed together.

      Under a 1997 court decision known as the Flores settlement, children who come to the US alone are required to be released to their parents, an adult relative, or other caretaker.

      If those options are all exhausted, then the government must find the “least restrictive” setting for the child “without unnecessary delay”.

      The case initially applied to unaccompanied child arrivals, but a 2016 court decision expanded it to include children brought with their parents.

      According to the New York Times, the government has three options under the Flores settlement - release whole families together, pass a law to allow for families to be detained together, or break up families.

      It is worth noting that Mr Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly - who previously served as the head of Homeland Security - said in 2017 that the White House was considering separating families as a means of deterring parents from trying to cross the border.
      What do the figures show?

      The number of families trying to enter the US overland without documentation is on the rise. For the fourth consecutive month in May, there was an increase in the number of people caught crossing the border irregularly - in comparison with the same month of 2017, the rise was of 160%.

      “The trends are clear: this must end,” Mr Sessions said last month.

      It is not clear, though, if the tougher measures will stop the migrants. Most are fleeing violence and poverty in Central American countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and staying, for many, could mean a death sentence.

      Human rights groups, campaigners and Democrats have sharply criticised the separations, warning of the long-term trauma on the children. Meanwhile the UN Human Rights Office called on the US to “immediately halt” them.

      But Mr Sessions has defended the measure, saying the separations were “not our goal” but it was not always possible to keep parents and children together.
      What is the policy in other countries?

      No other country has a policy of separating families who intend to seek asylum, activists say.

      In the European Union, which faced its worst migrant crisis in decades three years ago, most asylum seekers are held in reception centres while their requests are processed - under the bloc’s Dublin Regulation, people must be registered in their first country of arrival.

      Measures may vary in different member states but families are mostly kept together.

      Even in Australia, which has some of the world’s most restrictive policies, including the detention of asylum seekers who arrive by boat in controversial offshore centres, there is no policy to separate parents from their children upon arrival.

      Meanwhile, Canada has a deal with the US that allows it to deny asylum requests from those going north. It has tried to stem the number of migrants crossing outside border posts after a surge of Haitians and Nigerians coming from its neighbour. However, there were no reports of families being forcibly separated.

      “What the US is doing now, there is no equivalent,” said Michael Flynn, executive director of the Geneva-based Global Detention Project, a non-profit group focused on the rights of detained immigrants. “There’s nothing like this anywhere”.

      Republicans in the House of Representatives have unveiled legislation to keep families together but it is unlikely to win the support of its own party or the White House.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44503514?platform=hootsuite

    • Les récits de la détresse d’enfants de migrants créent l’émoi aux Etats-Unis

      Plus de 2000 enfants ont été séparés de leurs parents depuis l’entrée en vigueur en avril de la politique de « tolérance zéro » en matière d’immigration illégale aux Etats-Unis. Ces jours, plusieurs témoignages ont ému dans le pays.

      http://www.rts.ch/info/monde/9658887-les-recits-de-la-detresse-d-enfants-de-migrants-creent-l-emoi-aux-etats-

    • Etats-Unis : quand la sécurité des frontières rime avec torture d’enfants mineurs

      Au Texas, dans un centre de détention, un enregistrement audio d’enfants migrants âgés entre 4 à 10 ans pleurant et appelant leurs parents alors qu’ils viennent d’être séparés d’eux, vient de faire surface.

      Cet enregistrement a fuité de l’intérieur, remis à l’avocate Jennifer Harbury qui l’a transféré au média d’investigation américain ProPublica. L’enregistrement a été placé sur les images filmées dans ce centre. Il soulève l’indignation des américains et du monde entier. Elles sont une torture pour nous, spectateurs impuissants de la barbarie d’un homme, Donald Trump et de son administration.

      Le rythme des séparations s’est beaucoup accéléré depuis début mai, lorsque le ministre de la Justice Jeff Sessions a annoncé que tous les migrants passant illégalement la frontière seraient arrêtés, qu’ils soient accompagnés de mineurs ou pas. Du 5 mai au 9 juin 2018 quelque 2’342 enfants ont été séparés de leurs parents placés en détention, accusés d’avoir traversé illégalement la frontière. C’est le résultat d’une politique sécuritaire dite de “tolérance zéro” qui criminalise ces entrées même lorsqu’elles sont justifiées par le dépôt d’une demande d’asile aux Etats-Unis. Un protocol empêche la détention d’enfants avec leurs parents. Ils sont alors placés dans des centres fermés qui ressemblent tout autant à des prisons adaptées.

      https://blogs.letemps.ch/jasmine-caye/2018/06/19/etats-unis-quand-la-securite-des-frontieres-rime-avec-torture-denfants

    • Aux États-Unis, le traumatisme durable des enfants migrants

      Trump a beau avoir mis fin à la séparation forcée des familles à la frontière, plus de 2 000 enfants migrants seraient encore éparpillés dans le pays. Le processus de regroupement des familles s’annonce long et douloureux.


      https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/aux-etats-unis-le-traumatisme-durable-des-enfants-migrants
      #caricature #dessin_de_presse

    • The Government Has Taken At Least 1,100 Children From Their Parents Since Family Separations Officially Ended

      “You can’t imagine the pain,” Dennis said. “If you’re not a dad, you don’t know what it’s like.” I reached Dennis by phone in a small town in the Copán Department of Honduras, where he lives with his wife and three children. For five months this year, the family was fractured across borders. Sonia, age 11, had been separated from Dennis after they crossed into the United States and turned themselves in to the Border Patrol to ask for asylum. Dennis was deported from Texas, and Sonia sent to a shelter in New York.

      The U.S. government is still taking children from their parents after they cross the border. Since the supposed end of family separation — in the summer of 2018, after a federal judge’s injunction and President Donald Trump’s executive order reversing the deeply controversial policy — more than 1,100 children have been taken from their parents, according to the government’s own data. There may be more, since that data has been plagued by bad record keeping and inconsistencies. The government alleges that separations now only happen when a parent has a criminal history or is unfit to care for a child, but an ongoing lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union argues that the current policy still violates the rights of children and families. Border Patrol agents, untrained in child welfare, make decisions that some parents are unfit to stay with their children based solely on brief interactions with them while they are held in custody.

      Dennis picks coffee during the harvest season and works other basic jobs when he can, but he struggles to put food on the table and pay for his kids’ school supplies. In April, unable to find steady work in the coffee fields and receiving regular threats from a creditor, he headed north, hoping to find safety and opportunity in the United States. “We were barely eating. I couldn’t give my kids a life,” Dennis told me. (He preferred that I only use first names for him and his family due to safety concerns.) Thinking that his two boys — ages 2 1/2 and 7 — were too young to travel, Dennis took Sonia and together they left Honduras. They trekked through Guatemala and Mexico by bus, train, and on foot. They were robbed once, terrified the whole way, and had to beg for food. They slept wherever they could — sometimes in the woods, along the tracks, or, when they could scrounge enough money together, in migrant flophouses.

      After about a month of travel, Dennis and Sonia crossed the Rio Grande in a small raft outside of McAllen, Texas, on the morning of May 17. They walked for hours before they turned themselves in to a Border Patrol agent and were taken to a processing center, where they were locked up in one of the freezing-cold temporary holding centers known as hieleras, or iceboxes. Only a few hours later, a Border Patrol agent took Dennis and Sonia and locked them in separate rooms. It was the last time he would see his daughter for five months.

      For the next 11 days, Dennis remained in the hielera, asking repeatedly to see his daughter. Border Patrol officers tried to get him to sign papers that were in English, which he couldn’t read. He refused. “You can’t see her,” a Border Patrol agent told him about his daughter. The agent said that she was fine, but wouldn’t tell him where she was. Border Patrol transferred Dennis to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Port Isabel, Texas. They told him that because of a previous deportation and a felony — a 10-year-old charge for using false work authorization papers — he was ineligible for asylum. For the next 30 days of his detention, he knew nothing of his daughter or her whereabouts. Finally, an agent called him over and told him that she was on the phone. The call was brief. They both cried. He told her to be strong. He told her that they were going to send him away. Two weeks later, without talking to his daughter again, he was deported back to Honduras. “I’m a man, but I cried. I cried,” he told me. “Oh, it was so hard.”

      Sonia was in New York in an Office of Refugee Resettlement, or ORR, shelter, where she was living with a number of other children. In Honduras, after Dennis’s deportation, the rest of the family waited in agony for nearly 5 months, until October 9, when Sonia was released and then flown home. “My wife,” Dennis said, “she didn’t eat, didn’t sleep. You can’t imagine the suffering. And, don’t forget,” he reminded me, “she had two other kids to raise.”

      In 2018, much of the world looked on aghast as U.S. immigration agents separated thousands of children from their parents in an unprecedented anti-immigrant crackdown. In one notorious instance captured on audio, Border Patrol agents laughed and joked at desperate children crying for their parents. The separations, part of a series of policy changes to limit total immigration and effectively shutter refugee and asylum programs, stemmed from the so-called zero-tolerance policy that began in El Paso in 2017 and was rolled out border-wide in the spring of 2018. The administration had announced that it would seek to prosecute all people who illegally crossed the border (despite the fact that, according to U.S. law, it is not illegal for an asylum-seeker to cross the border), but it later emerged that the government had specifically targeted families. A strict zero tolerance policy — prosecuting every individual who was apprehended — was always beyond capacity. The focus on families was part of a distinct effort by the Department of Homeland Security and the White House to try and dissuade — by subjecting parents and children to the terror of separation — more people from coming to the United States.

      After widespread uproar and international condemnation, Trump issued an executive order to halt the separations on June 20, 2018. Six days later, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw issued an injunction, demanding the reunification of parents with their children within 30 days. For children under the age of 5, the deadline was 14 days. For some, however, it was too late. Parents had already lost custody, been deported, or even lost track of their children. Even for those who were reunified, trauma had set in. In 2018, the number of publicly known separations was 2,800. In fact, as the government revealed this October after pressure from the ACLU lawsuit, that original count was over 1,500 children short. Furthermore, the government has admitted that more than 1,100 additional families have been separated since the executive order and injunction — bringing the total number of children impacted to at least 5,446. That number may still be an undercount and will continue to rise if immigration officials’ current practices continue.

      The grounds for the ongoing separations — the 1,100 new cases — stem from a carve-out in Sabraw’s injunction: that children should not be separated “absent a determination that the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child.” That language, the ACLU and others allege in an ongoing lawsuit, is being interpreted too broadly by the government, resulting in unwarranted separations. ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt, who has been litigating against the government on behalf of a class of separated families, called the ongoing separation policy “as shocking as it is unlawful.”

      The reason that Dennis and Sonia were separated, for example, goes back to 2008, when Dennis’s wife was pregnant with Sonia, and Dennis came to the U.S. to find work and support his family. He made it to Minnesota and was loaned false papers to get a job, but he was quickly picked up and charged with forgery. He spent three months in a federal prison before being deported. Eleven years later, that conviction led to Sonia being taken from him. “You could call any child expert from anywhere in the country, and they would tell you that these parents are not a danger to the child,” Gelernt said in a September 20 hearing. “The government is simply saying, ‘We are going to take away children because the court said we could.’”

      In a brief filed to the court in July, ACLU attorneys pointed out cases in which children were taken from their parents for “the most minor or nonviolent criminal history.” The reasons for separation cited in those cases included marijuana possession convictions, a 27-year-old drug possession charge, and a charge of “malicious destruction of property value” over a total of $5. An 8-month-old was separated from his father for a “fictitious or fraudulent statement.” A mother who broke her leg at the border had her 5-year-old taken from her while she was in emergency surgery, and ORR did not release the child for 79 days.

      In an example of a dubious determination made by the Border Patrol of a father being “unfit” to care for his 1-year-old daughter, an agent separated the two because the father left his daughter in a wet diaper while she was sleeping. She had been sick and, after caring for her and taking her to the hospital on two separate occasions for a high fever, the father “wanted to let her sleep instead of waking her to change her diaper,” according to the ACLU brief. Nonetheless, a female guard took his daughter from his arms, criticized him for not changing the diaper, and even called him a bad father. The government’s own documents show that the father has no other criminal history.

      In another instance, a 3-year-old girl was separated from her father due to Customs and Border Protection’s allegation that he was not actually her parent. Although the father’s name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate, he presented other documentation showing parentage and requested a DNA test as proof. Officials ignored his request and separated the family. After an attorney intervened, the family took a DNA test and confirmed paternity. Meanwhile, the daughter was sexually abused while in ORR care and, according to the brief, “appears to be severely regressing in development.”

      CBP did not respond to a request for comment.

      The ACLU’s brief received some coverage this summer, but many of the most egregious stories it collected went unmentioned. Overall, even as the separations have continued, media attention has flagged. From a high of 2,000 stories a month in the summer of 2018, this fall has seen an average of only 50 to 100 stories a month that mention family separation, according to an analysis by Pamela Mejia, head of research at Berkeley Media Studies Group. Mejia told me that the issue had “reached a saturation point” for many people: “The overwhelming number of stories that generate outrage has made it harder to keep anything in the headlines.”

      At first, the child victims of the government’s actions were easy to empathize with. There was no “crime frame,” as Mejia put it, to explain away the children’s suffering, in contrast to the way that immigration is often covered. Whether denominating migrants as “illegals,” seeing them as “hordes” or “invaders,” or using a broad brush to associate them with crime or terrorism, politicians and the media alike often wield anti-immigrant or dehumanizing language when discussing immigration. Young children, however, are something different. The broad consensus in 2018 was that the family separation policy was an outrageous and unnecessary cruelty.

      But, despite the outrage, the policy continued and now there’s a sense of “futility that this is going to keep happening,” Mejia said. Gelernt likewise attributed the lack of ongoing coverage to “media burnout,” noting especially that there are more than 200 kids under the age of 5 who have been separated from their families. It’s hard to cover so many heartrending stories, Gelernt said. And now, simply, “People think it’s over.”

      But it’s not. Sabraw, the southern California judge who issued the injunction in 2018, is expected to rule soon on the ACLU’s challenge to the continued separations. But even if he again orders the government to reunify families, or narrows immigration officials’ latitude in carrying out separations, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the government can, or will, comply. CBP, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, has already proven negligent in keeping track of the separated children — calling families who had undergone separation, for example, “deleted family units.” Some children still remain unaccounted for.

      “At this point, no government official can plausibly claim that they are unaware of the damage these separations are doing to the children,” Gelernt told me, “yet they continue to do it.”

      In late November, back in Copán, Sonia graduated from sixth grade. One of her favorite things to do, Dennis told me, is to draw with her younger brothers. She is also teaching the older of the two boys to read, practicing his letters with him. She’ll go into seventh grade soon, but her father worries about her growing up in what he described as a gang-ridden town. Honduras has one of the highest incidence rates of violence against women in the world. He also doesn’t know how he’ll be able to pay for her high school. “I know it’s desperate,” he said, “but I’m thinking of heading north again. I can’t see how else to do it.”

      Sonia doesn’t talk much about her time separated from her family, but Dennis notices that she’s changed, and he and his wife are worried: “She told me she didn’t feel good. She was just crying at first [while in the ORR facility]; that’s all she did.” Now when she goes quiet sometimes, her parents wonder if she’s still affected by the trauma. As Dennis contemplated aloud another potential trip north in search of personal and financial security, he reflected, “I just ask that we have enough food to eat every day. I just want my family to be safe.”

      https://theintercept.com/2019/12/09/family-separation-policy-lawsuit

  • Israel begins construction of separation wall in Bethlehem-area village
    Dec. 21, 2017
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=779662

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have reportedly began construction on a portion of Israel’s illegal separation wall on lands of the Tuqu town in eastern Bethlehem, in the southern occupied West Bank, on Thursday.

    Locals told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers entered the town early Thursday morning and began placing cement blocks in northern Tuqu.

    According to locals, the wall would swallow up what’s left of agricultural lands belonging to the residents of Tuqu, after Israel confiscated large portions of land for the construction nearby illegal settlement of Tekoa.

  • In Photos: Daily struggle of Palestinian workers at Checkpoint 300
    Nov. 24, 2017 8:00 P.M.
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=779520

    Checkpoint 300 in Bethlehem, November 24, 2017. (MaanImages/ Nasser Lahham)

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — In the early hours of the morning, typically before dawn, hundreds of Palestinians in the southern occupied West Bank must endure long waits at the 300 checkpoint, one of the only access points Palestinians from the southern West Bank have to Jerusalem and Israel.

    Palestinians crowd into the cement- and metal-barred walkways, push through turnstiles, pass a metal detector, and show their IDs and permits to Israeli soldiers in order to travel to Israel for work . The process can at times take hours and cold winter temperatures coupled with hours of waiting time means frustrations are high.

    Checkpoint 300 was built in 2005 two kilometers inside of the green line, despite rulings by the International Court of Justice that the separation wall was deemed illegal in 2004.

    High numbers of Palestinians, especially construction laborers, cross through the checkpoint every day, facing frequent overcrowding and often waiting for hours in line due to Israeli security measures.

    Israel maintains severe restrictions on Palestinians’ freedom of movement through a complex combination of fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, roads forbidden to Palestinians but open exclusively to Jewish settlers, and various other physical obstructions.

    At any given time there are about 100 permanent Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank, while surprise flying checkpoints often number into the hundreds.

    Checkpoint 300 in Bethlehem, November 24, 2017. (MaanImages/ Nasser Lahham)

    • Photos : la lutte quotidienne des travailleurs palestiniens au checkpoint 300
      24 novembre 2017 – Ma’an News – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine
      http://chroniquepalestine.com/lutte-quotidienne-travailleurs-palestiniens-checkpoint-300

      Ma’an News – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Aux premières heures de la matinée, généralement avant l’aube, des centaines de Palestiniens de la Cisjordanie occupée doivent subir de longues attentes au checkpoint 300, l’un des seuls points d’accès palestiniens du sud de la Cisjordanie vers Jérusalem et Israël [Palestine de 1948].

      Les Palestiniens se pressent dans les allées de ciment et de métal, franchissent des tourniquets, passent devant un détecteur de métaux et montrent leurs papiers d’identité et leurs permis aux soldats israéliens afin de se rendre en Israël pour travailler. Le processus peut parfois prendre des heures, avec des températures hivernales froides couplées avec des heures d’attente. Le sentiment de frustration est profond.(...)

  • Statoil, Shell and Total enter CO2 storage partnership - Statoil, Shell and Total enter CO2 storage partnership - statoil.com
    http://www.statoil.com/en/news/statoil-shell-total-co2-storage-partnership.html

    The partners are today signing a partnership agreement to mature the development of carbon storage on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The project is part of the Norwegian authorities’ efforts to develop full-scale carbon capture and storage in Norway.

    In June, Gassnova awarded Statoil the contract for the first phase of the project. Norske Shell and Total E&P Norge are now entering as equal partners while Statoil will lead the project. All the partners will contribute people, experience, and financial support.

    The first phase of this CO2 project could reach a capacity of approximately 1.5 million ton per year. The project will be designed to accommodate additional CO2 volumes aiming to stimulate new commercial carbon capture projects in Norway, Europe and more globally across the world. In this way, the project has the potential to be the first storage project site in the world receiving CO2 from industrial sources in several countries.
    […]
    The storage project will store CO2 captured from onshore industrial facilities in Eastern Norway. This CO2 will be transported by ship from the capture facilities to a receiving terminal located onshore on the west-coast of Norway. At the receiving terminal CO2 will be transferred from the ship to intermediate storage tanks, prior to being sent through a pipeline on the seabed to injection wells east of the Troll field on the NCS. There are three possible locations for the receiving terminal; a final selection will be made later this year.

  • Poll finds U.S.-Mexico border residents overwhelmingly value mobility, oppose wall

    Residents who live along the U.S.-Mexico border overwhelmingly prefer bridges over fences and are dead set against building a new wall, according to a Cronkite News-Univision-Dallas Morning News poll.


    http://interactives.dallasnews.com/2016/border-poll

    #sondage #murs #opposition #résistance #USA #Mexique #frontières #barrières_frontalières

    • Vigilantes Not Welcome : A Border Town Pushes Back on Anti-Immigrant Extremists

      In late August last year, 39-year-old Michael Lewis Arthur Meyer exited La Gitana bar in Arivaca, Arizona, took out his phone, and started recording a video for his Facebook page: “So down here in Arivaca, if you like to traffic in children, if you like to make sure women and children have contraceptives before handing them off to the coyotes to be dragged through the desert, knowing they’re going to get raped along the way, if you’re involved in human trafficking or dope smuggling, these individuals have your back.”

      Meyer, who had a trim red beard, dark sunglasses, and a camouflage American flag hat, aimed his cellphone camera at a wooden awning on a small white bungalow across the street from La Gitana, panning between two signs with the words “Arivaca Humanitarian Aid Office” and “Oficina De Ayuda Humanitaria” in turquoise letters.

      The video went on for nine and a half minutes, as Meyer, the leader of a group called Veterans on Patrol, which had more than 70,000 followers on Facebook, talked about stopping border crossers and searching abandoned mineshafts for evidence of trafficked women and children. Every couple of minutes he would return to the aid office.

      “If you’re ever down here in Arivaca,” he told his audience, “if you want to know who helps child traffickers, if you want to know who helps dope smugglers, if you want to know who helps ISIS, if you want to know who helps La Raza, MS-13, any of ’em, any of the bad guys, these people help ’em.”

      The claims were false and outrageous. But Meyer had an audience, and people in town were well aware of how media-fueled anti-­immigrant vitriol and conspiracies could spill over into real-world violence. It had happened there before.

      Arivaca sits just 11 miles north of the Mexico border in a remote area of the Sonoran Desert. For about two decades, anti-immigrant vigilante groups have patrolled the region to try to remedy what they perceive as the federal government’s failure to secure the border. In 2009, the leader of one of these groups and two accomplices murdered two residents—a little girl and her father—during a home invasion and robbery planned to fund their activities. Meyer’s video brought that trauma back and was quickly followed by a series of incidents revolving around various vigilante groups, La Gitana, and the humanitarian aid office. When I visited in mid-September, the town was clearly on edge. “If we don’t do something about [the situation], we’re going to have bodies here again,” Arivaca’s unofficial mayor, Ken Buchanan, told me.

      Shortly before making his video, Meyer had been sitting in La Gitana with several volunteers from Veterans on Patrol. Megan Davern, a 30-year-old meat cutter with work-worn hands and long brown hair, was tending bar. She had heard that a rancher living along the border was having issues with a vigilante group trespassing and flying drones over his property.

      “I walked into the bar at four o’clock one day to start a shift, and I saw this big group of people in fatigues with empty gun holsters and a drone on the table, and I felt it was probably them,” Davern recalled.

      Davern had heard the group’s name before and quickly did some internet research, reading highlights as the men drank. The group was founded to provide support to homeless veterans. Then, in May 2018, Meyer—who is not a veteran and has a criminal history—claimed he had discovered a child sex trafficking camp at an abandoned cement factory in Tucson. The camp, he said, was part of a pedophilia ring, and on his Facebook page he shared posts linking it to the Clintons, George Soros, and Mexican drug cartels.

      Meyer, who showed up for rancher Cliven Bundy’s 2014 armed standoff with authorities in Nevada and was present during Bundy’s sons’ occupation of an Oregon wildlife refuge in 2016, declined an interview request. But the story he was spreading mimicked right-wing conspiracies like Pizzagate and QAnon, and though Tucson police investigated and debunked his claims, Meyer gained tens of thousands of social-media followers. With donations of supplies and gift cards pouring in from supporters, he vowed to gather evidence and save the women and children he claimed were being victimized.

      Davern watched as Meyer and the other Veterans on Patrol volunteers left La Gitana and started filming the first video. Toward the end of the video, she stepped out of the bar to confront them. “We’ve been hearing about you for a long time,” she said, as Meyer turned the camera on her. “I’d appreciate if you don’t come in anymore.”

      Banning Veterans on Patrol, Davern told me, was an easy decision: “We have a strict no-militia policy at the bar because of the history of militia violence in this town.”

      Arivaca is a quirky place. To start with, it’s unincorporated, which means there’s no official mayor, no town council, no police force. The 700 or so residents are an unlikely mix of miners, ranchers, aging hippies, artists, and other folks who stumbled across the odd little community, became enchanted, and decided to make it home. A single road runs through it, linking an interstate highway to the east and a state highway to the west. The next town is 30 minutes away; Tucson is 60 miles north.

      There’s no official mayor, no town council, no police force…The next town is 30 minutes away.

      Jagged hills covered in scraggly mesquite spread in every direction until they meet towering mountains at the distant southern horizon. The vast landscape swallows up the dividing line with Mexico, but the presence of the border looms large.

      By the early 2000s, a federal policy called Prevention Through Deterrence had pushed border crossers from urban areas to more hostile terrain like the desert around Arivaca. Migrant deaths skyrocketed, and Arivaca eventually became a staging ground for volunteers caching water and food in the desert. Some settled down, and residents opened the humanitarian aid office in 2012.

      The border crossers also caught the attention of vigilante groups, many of which had formed in the late ’90s in Texas and California, and which ranged from heavily armed paramilitary-type organizations to gangs of middle-aged men sitting on lawn chairs with binoculars. “They realized that ground zero was really on the Arizona border,” said Mark Pitcavage, who researches right-wing extremism at the Anti-Defamation League.

      One group known as the Minutemen started organizing Arizona border watches in 2005. “It was a big deal in the press,” said Heidi Beirich, a hate group expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Beirich credits the Minutemen with helping mainstream the demonization of undocumented migrants, calling the media-savvy group “probably the thing that started off what ultimately becomes Donald Trump’s anti-­immigrant politics.”

      But by 2007, the organization was splintering. One spinoff, Minutemen American Defense (MAD), was led by a woman named Shawna Forde, a name that no one in Arivaca would soon forget.
      “The whole town has those emotional scars.”

      Just before 1 a.m. on May 30, 2009, Forde and two accomplices murdered nine-year-old Brisenia Flores and her 29-year-old father, Raul, in their home. They also injured Brisenia’s mother, Gina Gonzales, before she drove them away by grabbing her husband’s gun and returning fire.

      Raul Flores was rumored to be involved in the drug trade, and Forde, a woman with a long criminal history, had devised a plan to rob his home and use the money to finance MAD.

      The murders shook Arivaca. “The whole town has those emotional scars,” Alan Wallen, whose daughter was friends with Brisenia, told me.

      The day that Meyer filmed that first Facebook video in Arivaca, Terry Sayles, 69, a retired schoolteacher with a long-standing research interest in far-right groups, was at his home in Green Valley, some 45 minutes away. Sayles had been following Veterans on Patrol since the cement plant conspiracy theory first surfaced. When he saw Meyer’s video outside La Gitana, he called the bar with a warning. “You guys know that you’re on Facebook?” he asked.

      “Oh, great,” Davern remembered thinking. Until then, she hadn’t realized Meyer’s video was online. “I didn’t know what the ramifications would be. Were people going to come into my work and harass me? Threaten me with violence? Were they going to find out where I live?”

      Around the time of Davern’s confrontation outside the bar, La Gitana put up a sign saying that members of border vigilante groups were not welcome inside. It didn’t mention Veterans on Patrol but instead singled out another group: Arizona Border Recon (AZBR).

      Tim Foley, the leader of AZBR, had moved to Arivaca in the summer of 2017. Before starting the group in 2011, Foley, who has piercing blue eyes and leathery skin from long hours in the sun, worked construction jobs in Phoenix until 2008, when the financial crisis hit. “Everything fell apart,” he told me over the phone.

      Foley said that after years of seeing immigration violations on work sites go unpunished, he went down to the border and decided to dedicate himself to stopping undocumented crossers. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers AZBR a nativist extremist group, but Foley now says his main mission is gathering intelligence on Mexican drug cartels.

      Just before I visited Arivaca, Foley was in Washington, DC, speaking at “The Negative Impact of Illegal Alien Crime in America,” a rally hosted by families of people killed by undocumented immigrants. Other speakers included former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is also a Trump pardon recipient; presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway; and Rep. Steve King, a Republican from Iowa with a history of racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

      A few days after Meyer filmed his video, a BearCat armored vehicle—the kind used by SWAT teams—came rolling into Arivaca. It had a mock .50-caliber machine gun affixed to a turret on its roof and belonged to the Utah Gun Exchange, a marketplace and media company based near Salt Lake City with a mission to build what one of its co-owners, 46-year-old Bryan Melchior, described as “web platforms that allow free speech and that promote and protect the Second Amendment.”

      Before coming to Arivaca, the group had followed survivors of the Parkland high school shooting around the country during the teens’ “March for Our Lives” tour. But after President Trump threatened to shut down the government over funding for his border wall, Melchior shifted his attention. “Ultimately, we came here to tell stories from the border, and that’s what brought us to Arivaca, because there are some outspoken public figures here. Tim Foley is one of them,” Melchior told me.

      Melchior, stocky with a scruffy salt-and-pepper beard and an ever-present sidearm, and his crew decided to get dinner at La Gitana. Davern was tending bar and asked the group what they were up to. When Melchior said they were a media company in town to tell border stories and that they were in touch with Foley, “the whole thing went to hell in a handbag,” he recalled.

      Davern said she left their initial conversation feeling optimistic that the Utah Gun Exchange’s platform could be a good avenue to reach a different audience with information about what life was actually like at the border. But when she found out it had a channel called BuildTheWallTV, she changed her mind.

      Melchior was down by the border when somebody sent him a picture of a new sign in La Gitana’s window listing the Utah Gun Exchange and Veterans on Patrol as groups that were not welcome. He later went into La Gitana with an open container of alcohol from a store across the street to ask about the sign. The interaction did not go well.

      The next day, Meyer came back to town ready to film again. Playing to an audience watching in real time on Facebook Live, he walked up to La Gitana, showed the signs hanging in the window, and knocked. “Do you stand by your convictions to tell tens of thousands of supporters [that they’re not welcome]?” he asked the bartender working that day.

      “Sure. Absolutely,” she replied.

      Meyer went on to say that Veterans on Patrol was going to build a wall around Arivaca to make it part of Mexico. He then walked across the street to again film the humanitarian office: “This town’s made it apparent they don’t want us. They’d rather have the illegals crossing over. They’d rather help traffic the children and the women.”

      To many Arivaca residents, it felt like things were building toward cataclysm. “People are terrified,” Davern told me. “These people come to town and they’re threatening. Extremely threatening.”
      To many Arivaca residents, it felt like things were building toward cataclysm.

      So they called a town meeting. It was held on September 9, and about 60 people came. Terry Sayles, the retired teacher from Green Valley, was there. He suggested that the town report Veterans on Patrol’s page to Facebook. The residents set up a phone tree in case they needed to quickly rally aid—local law enforcement is at least an hour away. Kelly and a couple of others formed a neighborhood watch of sorts. “We had a strategy that we had rehearsed so that if in fact there was some attempt by somebody to do harm, we could de-escalate it in a hurry and quietly defuse it,” he said.Arivacans weren’t so much concerned about Foley, Meyer, or Melchior, but about their followers, who might see their inflammatory videos and posts about Arivaca and take matters into their own hands. “Our greatest fear was some person incensed at the thought of this community engaged in sex traffic would come out here and have a shootout at our local tavern,” Dan Kelly, a Vietnam War veteran who lives in Arivaca, told me.

      One of the most important things, though, was channeling the spiraling fear into a productive reaction. “We worked hard to separate the emotional response to it and try to look at it logically and coldly,” Kelly said. “The visceral side, the emotional side, was the impetus to get organized and take a rational response.”

      Their containment approach worked. A couple of days after the meeting, Veterans on Patrol’s main Facebook account was taken down, stripping Meyer of his audience. The Utah Gun Exchange eventually packed up and left. Many people had refused to talk to the outlet. “Arivaca is the most unwelcoming town I’ve ever been to in my life,” Melchior complained to me.

      In January, Melchior was charged in Utah with felony drug and weapons possession. Meyer also faces legal trouble, some of it stemming from videos he took of himself trespassing on private property around Tucson. He currently has several cases pending in the Pima County court system.

      “There’s been significantly less obvious militia activity in Arivaca, which I contribute to a victory on our part,” Davern told me during a recent phone call. “There’s a lot less fear going around, which is great.” Town meetings continued for a while but have stopped for now. But to Davern, as long as Tim Foley is still in town, the issue isn’t resolved. “That person needs to leave,” she said, describing him as a magnet for conflict. High Country News detailed an incident in early March when locals eager to keep the peace dissuaded a group of reportedly self-described anarchists who had come to town to confront him.

      Foley knows what Davern and others in Arivaca think about him but insists there’s a silent majority in town that supports his presence. “They can keep calling me the bad guy. I already know I’m not, or else I still wouldn’t be walking the streets,” he told me. “I’m not moving. I’m staying in Arivaca. They can keep crying for the rest of their lives. I really don’t care.”

      Even at the height of their fear, a question hovered over the town’s residents: Were they overreacting?

      It’s a question more people across the country confront as they wake up to the reality of right-wing extremism and violence. When I was in Arivaca, the answer was clear to Clara Godfrey, whose nephew Albert Gaxiola was Shawna Forde’s accomplice in the Flores murders. He and Forde had met at La Gitana. “We can never say, ‘We didn’t know,’ again,” Godfrey told me. “If anything happens, we have to say, ‘We knew, and it was okay with us.’”

      https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/04/immigrant-vigilantes-arizona-border-arivaca

      Commentaire de Reece_Jones sur twitter :

      A truism of borders: the people who live there hate the way people in the interior politicize and militarize their homes.

      https://twitter.com/reecejhawaii/status/1116404990711492608
      ... ce qui me fait penser au fameux effet Tur_Tur !

  • Norway’s push for Arctic oil and gas threatens Paris climate goals – study | Environment | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/10/norways-push-for-arctic-oil-and-gas-threatens-paris-climate-goals-study

    [...]

    They focussed on Norway because it has long been a supporter of ambitious global reduction targets and has used part of its oil revenues to develop renewable technologies and tackle deforestation. If it cannot leave fossil fuels in the ground and make the transition to a carbon-free economy, the authors ask, then how can any of its rivals in less developed nations be expected to do so?

    “This is uncharacteristically irrational behaviour for Norway,” said Hannah McKinnon of Oil Change International. “The Paris climate goals mean the world has to stay within a finite carbon budget. Norway’s current plans for fossil fuel production, expansion, and exploration are dangerously out of line with these budgets. Norway can’t be a climate leader at the same time as depending on new oil and gas production.”

    The government says such accusations are unfair because they run against the convention at international climate talks for the responsibility for emissions to lie with consumers rather than producers. In this regard – of purely domestic carbon use – it is doing better than most nations because it gets 97% of its electricity from renewable sources, has a high carbon tax, is a leader in promotion of electric vehicles, and is pioneering carbon capture and storage at waste plants and cement factories.

    It also notes that oil and gas output is flat, it is unrealistic to assume that all exploration will be successful and the trend for overall production is away from carbon-heavy oil and towards cleaner gas, which is important as a “transition fuel” for countries that are trying to move away from coal. Officials point out that without Norway’s gas the UK would be far further behind in meeting its climate goals.

    “We are part of the solution, not the problem,” the deputy minister for petroleum and energy, Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde, told the Guardian. “This government is investing more in renewables and energy efficiency than any other. But renewables are not yet at a level where we can switch off oil and gas. We need a bridge.”

    The government argues that its oil and gas reserves are the most efficiently extracted in the world and that, so as long as there is demand for these fuels, it is better that they come from Norway. It also puts the number of newly offered exploration blocks closer to 50.

    [...]

    #Norway #climate #Arctic #oil and #gas #Paris #climate goals – #study #Environment

    #GreenhouseGases #GlobalWarming #ClimateChange #ParisClimateAgreement

    via http://02mydafsoup-01.soup.io/post/629307817/Norways-push-for-Arctic-oil-and-gas
    trouvé ici: https://diasp.eu/posts/5891834

    #Norvège #environnement #pétrole #gaz

  • Why modern mortar crumbles, but Roman concrete lasts millennia | Science | AAAS
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/why-modern-mortar-crumbles-roman-concrete-lasts-millennia

    Modern concrete—used in everything from roads to buildings to bridges—can break down in as few as 50 years. But more than a thousand years after the western Roman Empire crumbled to dust, its concrete structures are still standing. Now, scientists have finally figured out why: a special ingredient that makes the cement grow stronger—not weaker—over time. Scientists began their search with an ancient recipe for mortar, laid down by Roman engineer Marcus Vitruvius in 30 B.C.E. It called for a concoction of volcanic ash, lime, and seawater, mixed together with volcanic rocks and spread into wooden molds that were then immersed in more sea water. History contains many references to the durability of Roman concrete, including this cryptic note written in 79 B.C.E., describing concrete exposed to seawater as: “a single stone mass, impregnable to the waves and everyday stronger.” What did it mean? To find out, the researchers studied drilled cores of a Roman harbor from Pozzuoli Bay near Naples, Italy. When they analyzed it, they found that the seawater had dissolved components of the volcanic ash, allowing new binding minerals to grow. Within a decade, a very rare hydrothermal mineral called aluminum tobermorite (Al-tobermorite) had formed in the concrete. Al-tobermorite, long known to give Roman concrete its strength, can be made in the lab, but it’s very difficult to incorporate it in concrete. But the researchers found that when seawater percolates through a cement matrix, it reacts with volcanic ash and crystals to form Al-tobermorite and a porous mineral called phillipsite, they write today in American Mineralogist. So will you be seeing stronger piers and breakwaters anytime soon? Because both minerals take centuries to strengthen concrete, modern scientists are still working on recreating a modern version of Roman cement.

    #innovation #nouveau versus #progrès

  • CEO to go after LafargeHolcim admits paying Syrian groups | Reuters
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lafargeholcim-syria-olsen-idUSKBN17Q0E4
    http://s1.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20170424&t=2&i=1181774975&w=&fh=545px&fw=&ll=&pl=&sq=&r=LYN

    LafargeHolcim (LHN.S) Chief Executive Eric Olsen will leave the company in July after the world’s largest cement maker admitted on Monday it had paid armed groups to keep a factory operating in war-ravaged Syria.

  • Exploitation touristique de l’occupation.

    « Banksy’s ’Walled Off Hotel’ is a form of gentrification » | Mondoweiss, 6 mars 2017.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2017/03/banksys-walled-gentrification

    Anonymous British street artist Banksy just opened “The Walled Off Hotel” four yards from Israel’s apartheid wall in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. It is marketed as the hotel with “the worst view in the world.”

    The hotel is only Banksy’s latest artwork in the occupied Palestinian territories. He made his first mark on the wall in 2005, when he painted nine scenes that depict trompe l’oeil escapes from dust and cement to blue skies and green landscape. Banksy also snuck into the Gaza Strip ten years later, after Israel’s Operation Protective Edge leveled and devastated the territory, leaving in its wake a death toll of more than 1,500 Palestinian civilians. On this latter trip, Banksy painted murals amongst the razed infrastructure and made a two-minute satirical video that advertises Gaza as a unique travel destination while drawing attention to Israel’s siege and violence on the open-air prison.

    While Banksy’s new hotel has drawn much praise from the international community for its initiative to attract tourists to the West Bank and educate them through space as a medium and an object of art, I would like to push against that and offer my two cents on the classic quasi-masturbatory nature of war tourism and art, and its unsurprising prevalence in the Palestinian Question.

    This found art capitalizes on an occupation of a people that was founded by and maintained through violence; violence is thus its bedrock. Palestinian suffering becomes an exhibit to a very specific class of tourists who are able to enter the West Bank—to begin with—essentially reproducing the image of struggle in landscape and completely robbing it of its ability to speak for itself. It normalizes its public image and renders it pornographic, educational, amusing, and excessive. The initiative thrives on the continual existence of such violence, and therefore, through the artistic statement, ensures its eternity. The exhibit depends on the maintenance of apartheid, effectively rooting for its prolonged, permanent existence. The hotel begs the presence of the wall.

    #Palestine #Bethléem #Banksy #Occupation

  • Rain runoff may have undermined Oroville Dam’s concrete spillway, report says - LA Times
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-oroville-dam-cause-spillway-20170216-story.html
    http://www.trbimg.com/img-58a67289/turbine/la-me-oroville-dam-cause-spillway-20170216

    Officials have estimated that fixing the spillway could cost $200 million or more. Because the spillway has been used to reduce the water levels at the reservoir, officials said they still need to assess the level of damage.

    Records show the same section of spillway was repaired in 2013 but do not provide details.

    Large swaths of Northern California are on track to experience their wettest winter on record, with many areas having already surpassed their average precipitation for an entire year. A new series of storms is set to hit the Oroville area over the next few days. But officials are confident they’ve drained the reservoir enough that the rains won’t overwhelm it a second time.

    With the reservoir’s water level down more than 30 feet since Sunday and getting lower, Croyle said at a news conference Thursday that engineers will slow releases down the Oroville Dam’s damaged main spillway from 100,000 cubic feet of water per second to 80,000 cubic feet per second over a period of several hours.

    The reduction will allow crews to move into the concrete channel to clear out trees, branches and other debris that has clogged the spillway and forced the downstream hydroelectric plant to go offline, Croyle said.

    There was no estimate on when the power plant would be back up and running, but it will probably not be before Monday, he said.

    Meanwhile, the herculean effort to reinforce the emergency spillway before more rain arrives used a caravan of helicopters and trucks to fill three deep fissures in the dirt hillside with rocks and cement.

    Les menaces intermédiaires ne sont jamais prises suffisamment en compte. La culture de sécurité est en perdition.
    #environnement #barrage

  • The Lungs of the Earth
    http://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2016/lungs-of-the-earth/index.html

    The world’s forests, along with its oceans, absorb enormous amounts of the carbon dioxide that circulates in the atmosphere. They are, effectively, the Earth’s lungs, and protecting those lungs is crucial if we are to defend the planet’s biodiversity and fight global warming.

    But, between 1990 and 2015, the world lost 129 million hectares of forests, destroyed by chainsaws, fire and cement. Deforestation is advancing at an alarming pace: about 10 hectares of forest – the equivalent of 14 football fields – disappear every minute, the result mainly of human activities such as agriculture, the extraction of raw materials and urbanisation.

    #déforestation #forêt #dataviz

  • Standoff Films | Documentaire sur la détention des migrants au Royaume-Uni
    http://asile.ch/2016/10/18/documentaire-sur-la-detention-des-migrants-au-royaume-uni

    L’année dernière, approximativement 30’000 personnes ont été détenues par le UK Home Office, le Ministère de l’intérieur britannique, dans les 13 centres de détention que compte le pays. Ces personnes sont incarcérées pour des raisons relatives à l’immigration, sans inculpation ni procès. Nombre d’entre elles sont des requérants d’asile et/ou des migrants qui n’ont commis […]

  • World’s largest carbon producers face landmark human rights case | Environment | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/27/worlds-largest-carbon-producers-face-landmark-human-rights-case

    The world’s largest oil, coal, cement and mining companies have been given 45 days to respond to a complaint that their greenhouse gas emissions have violated the human rights of millions of people living in the Phillippines.

    In a potential landmark legal case, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR), a constitutional body with the power to investigate human rights violations, has sent 47 “carbon majors” including Shell, BP, Chevron, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, a 60-page document accusing them of breaching people’s fundamental rights to “life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and to self determination”.

    The move is the first step in what is expected to be an official investigation of the companies by the CHR, and the first of its kind in the world to be launched by a government body.

    The complaint argues that the 47 companies should be held accountable for the effects of their greenhouse gas emissions in the Philippines and demands that they explain how human rights violations resulting from climate change will be “eliminated, remedied and prevented”.

    #Philippines #pollution #santé #plainte #multinationales

    • Trump’s Border Wall Could Impact an Astonishing 10,000 Species

      The list, put together by a team led by Dr. Gerardo J. Ceballos González of National Autonomous University of Mexico, includes 42 species of amphibians, 160 reptiles, 452 bird species and 187 mammals. Well-known species in the region include the jaguar, Sonoran pronghorn, North American river otter and black bear.


      http://therevelator.org/trump-border-wall-10000-species

    • Border Security Fencing and Wildlife: The End of the Transboundary Paradigm in Eurasia?

      The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe has seen many countries rush to construct border security fencing to divert or control the flow of people. This follows a trend of border fence construction across Eurasia during the post-9/11 era. This development has gone largely unnoticed by conservation biologists during an era in which, ironically, transboundary cooperation has emerged as a conservation paradigm. These fences represent a major threat to wildlife because they can cause mortality, obstruct access to seasonally important resources, and reduce effective population size. We summarise the extent of the issue and propose concrete mitigation measures.

      http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002483
      #faune #Europe #Europe_centrale #Europe_de_l'Est #cartographie #visualisation

    • Rewriting biological history: Trump border wall puts wildlife at risk

      Mexican conservationists are alarmed over Trump’s wall, with the loss of connectivity threatening already stressed bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, bears and other animals.
      About one-third of the border, roughly 700 miles, already has fencing; President Trump has been pushing a controversial plan to fence the remainder.
      A wall running the entire nearly 2,000-mile frontier from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico, conservationists warn, would be catastrophic for borderland ecosystems and many wildlife species, undoing years of environmental cooperation between the two countries to protect animals that must move freely or die.
      The wall is currently a key bargaining chip, and a sticking point, in ongoing immigration legislation negotiations taking place this week in Congress. Also expected this week: a federal court ruling on whether the administration can legally waive environmental laws to expedite border wall construction.


      https://news.mongabay.com/2018/02/rewriting-biological-history-trump-border-wall-puts-wildlife-at-risk
      #bisons

    • A Land Divided

      The national debate about border security doesn’t often dwell on the natural environment, but hundreds of miles of public lands, including six national parks, sit along the U.S.-Mexico border. What will happen to these lands — and the wildlife and plants they protect — if a wall or additional fences and barriers are built along the frontier?


      https://www.npca.org/articles/1770-a-land-divided
      #parcs_nationaux

    • R ULES C OMMITTEE P RINT 115–66 T EXT OF THE H OUSE A MENDMENT TO THE S ENATE A MENDMENT TO H.R. 1625

      US spending bill requires “an analysis, following consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, of the environmental impacts, including on wildlife, of the construction and placement of physical barriers” (p 677)

      http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20180319/BILLS-115SAHR1625-RCP115-66.pdf
      Extrait partagé par Reece Jones sur twitter
      https://twitter.com/reecejhawaii/status/977304504700780544

    • Activists Vow Fight as Congress Funds Portions of Border Wall

      Last week Congress voted to appropriate some monies to build new fortifications along the United States–Mexico border, but border activists in the Rio Grande Valley say the fight against President Donald Trump’s border wall is far from over.

      The nearly $1.6 billion in border wall funding included in the omnibus spending bill that Trump signed Friday provides for the construction of some 33 miles of new walls, all in Texas’s ecologically important Rio Grande Valley. Those walls will tear through communities, farms and ranchland, historic sites, and thousands of acres of protected wildlife habitat, while creating flooding risks on both sides of the border. But far from admitting defeat, border activists have already begun mapping out next steps to pressure Congress to slow down or even halt the wall’s construction.

      https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/activists-vow-fight-congress-funds-portions-border-wall

    • State attorney general, environmental group to appeal decision on Trump’s border wall

      A ruling by a San Diego federal judge allowing construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall to go ahead will be appealed by two entities that opposed it, including the state Attorney General.

      Both the Center for Biological Diversity and Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed formal notices of appeal on Monday seeking to reverse a decision in February from U.S District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel. The judge ruled that the Trump administration did not abuse its discretion in waiving environmental laws in its rush to begin border wall projects along the southwest border.

      The center had said after the ruling it would appeal, and Becerra also hinted the state would seek appellate court review at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

      The notices declare an intent to appeal. They do not outline arguments to be made on appeal or why each group believe that Curiel got it wrong.

      In a prepared statement Becerra said, “When we said that a medieval wall along the U.S.-Mexico border does not belong in the 21st century, we meant it. There are environmental and public health laws in place, and we continue to believe that the Trump Administration is violating those laws. We will not stand idly by. We are committed to protecting our people, our values and our economy from federal overreach.”

      The lawsuits challenged a law that allowed the federal government not to comply with environmental and other laws and regulations when building border security projects. They argued the law was outdated and Congress never intended for it to be an open-ended waiver for all border projects, and contended it violated constitutional provisions of separation of powers and states’ rights.

      In his decision Curiel said both that the law was constitutional and it gave the Department of Homeland Security wide latitude over border security.

      Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley said in response to the Curiel ruling that the administration was pleased DHS “can continue this important work vital to our nation’s interest.”

      “Border security is paramount to stemming the flow of illegal immigration that contributes to rising violent crime and to the drug crisis, and undermines national security,” O’Malley said.

      http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-border-appeal-20180409-story.html

    • Les murs n’arrêtent pas que les humains

      Des États-Unis à la Malaisie, en passant par Israël ou la Hongrie, les hommes construisent de multiples murs pour contraindre les déplacements de nos semblables. N’oublions pas, explique l’auteur de cette tribune, que nous ne sommes pas les seuls à habiter la Terre et donc à pâtir de ces barrières.

      La #forêt_de_Bialowieza a quelque chose de mythique et de sacré. Âgée de plus de 8.000 ans, elle est la dernière forêt primaire d’Europe. S’étalant sur 150.000 hectares entre la Pologne et la Biélorussie, inaccessible aux visiteurs sans guide assermenté, elle constitue un sanctuaire d’espèces témoignant de la richesse des mondes anciens. Le bison d’Europe y vit encore de manière naturelle, côtoyant élans, cerfs, loups, lynx, etc.

      En 1981, à l’époque du rideau de fer, l’URSS a décidé de clôturer la frontière entre la Pologne et la Biélorussie, coupant à travers cette forêt et séparant en deux la dernière population de bisons d’Europe (environ 500 individus de part et d’autre). Cette clôture est symboliquement forte, car elle témoigne de la coupure existentielle (« ontologique », diraient les philosophes) que les humains se sont imposée vis-à-vis des autres êtres vivants. Ces derniers semblent ne pas exister à nos yeux.

      Mais cette séparation est plus que symbolique, elle est concrète. Les murs dressés par l’espèce humaine représentent une menace importante et sous-estimée pour de nombreux êtres vivants non humains.
      Murs de béton, de pierre, de boue, de sable ou de brique, de barbelés, de grilles en acier ou de clôtures électrifiées

      On en trouve surtout aux frontières : entre les États-Unis et le Mexique, la Corée du Nord et du Sud, Israël et la Cisjordanie, la Malaisie et la Thaïlande, l’Inde et le Pakistan, l’Iran et l’Irak, la Chine et la Mongolie, le Botswana et le Zimbabwe, etc. Ils prennent la forme de murs de béton, de pierre, de boue, de sable ou de brique, de barbelés, de grilles en acier ou de clôtures électrifiées, et viennent accompagnés de routes, de casernes, de lumières et de bruits. Leur nombre a considérablement augmenté depuis les attentats du 11 septembre 2001. Par exemple en Eurasie (sans le Moyen-Orient), il existe aujourd’hui plus de 30.000 km de murs, grillages et barbelés aux frontières.

      Ces murs affectent évidemment les populations humaines en brisant les trajectoires personnelles de millions de personnes. Ils affectent aussi les autres espèces [1]. À Białowieża, par exemple, la séparation a empêché les flux génétiques (et a donc fragilisé) des populations de bisons, d’ours, de loups et de lynx. Pire, 25 ans après la destruction du rideau de fer entre l’Allemagne et la République tchèque, les jeunes cerfs (qui n’avaient jamais vu de clôtures) ne traversaient toujours pas la frontière [2].

      En mai 2018 paraissait dans la revue Bioscience un article cosigné par dix-huit grands noms de l’étude et de la protection de la biodiversité (dont Edward O. Wilson) et signé par 2.500 scientifiques, qui alertait sur les « conséquences inattendues mais importantes » de ces murs frontaliers sur la biodiversité [3]. Ce cri d’alarme n’est pas le premier [4], mais il résume bien l’état des lieux de la recherche, et aussi l’état de préoccupation des chercheurs.
      Lorsque les habitats se fragmentent, les territoires des populations se réduisent

      Les murs nuisent à la biodiversité de plusieurs façons. Premièrement, ils peuvent blesser ou tuer des animaux directement, quand ils s’emmêlent dans les fils barbelés, sont électrocutés ou marchent sur des mines antipersonnelles.

      Deuxièmement, ils fragmentent et dégradent les habitats. Par exemple la frontière de 3.200 km entre le Mexique et les États-Unis traverse les aires de répartition géographique de 1.506 espèces natives (parmi lesquelles 1.077 espèces animales) dont 62 sont sur la liste des espèces en danger. Le mur menace cinq régions particulièrement riches en biodiversité (on les nomme « hotspots ») qui retiennent presque tous les efforts de conservation et de « réensauvagement » (rewilding). Lorsque les habitats se fragmentent, les territoires des populations se réduisent, et le nombre d’espèces présentes sur ces petites surfaces se réduit plus que proportionnellement, rendant ainsi les populations plus vulnérables, par exemple aux variations climatiques. Les clôtures frontalières contribuent aussi à accroître la mortalité de la faune sauvage en facilitant la tâche des braconniers, en perturbant les migrations et la reproduction, et en empêchant l’accès à la nourriture et à l’eau. Par exemple, le mouton bighorn (une espèce en danger) migrait naturellement entre la Californie et le Mexique mais ne peut aujourd’hui plus accéder aux points d’eau et aux sites de naissance qu’il avait l’habitude de fréquenter.

      Troisièmement, ces murs annulent les effets bénéfiques des millions de dollars investis dans la recherche et les mesures de conservation de la biodiversité. Les scientifiques témoignent aussi du fait qu’ils sont souvent l’objet d’intimidations, de harcèlements ou de ralentissements volontaires de la part des officiers responsables de la sécurité des frontières.

      Enfin, quatrièmement, les politiques de sécurité mises en place récemment font passer les lois environnementales au deuxième plan, quand elles ne sont pas simplement bafouées ou oubliées.
      Des centaines de kilomètres de clôtures de sécurité aux frontières extérieures et intérieures de l’UE

      Le double phénomène migrations/clôtures n’est pas prêt de s’arrêter. En 2015, un afflux exceptionnel d’êtres humains fuyant leurs pays en direction de l’Europe a conduit plusieurs États membres à réintroduire ou renforcer les contrôles aux frontières, notamment par la construction rapide de centaines de kilomètres de clôtures de sécurité aux frontières extérieures et intérieures de l’UE. Le réchauffement climatique et l’épuisement des ressources seront dans les années à venir des causes majeures de guerres, d’épidémies et de famines, forçant toujours plus d’humains à migrer. Les animaux seront aussi de la partie, comme en témoigne la progression vers le nord des moustiques tigres, qui charrient avec eux des maladies qui n’existaient plus dans nos régions, ou encore l’observation du loup en Belgique en mars 2018 pour la troisième fois depuis des siècles…

      Les accords entre pays membres de l’Union européenne au sujet des migrations humaines seront-ils mis en place à temps ? Résisteront-ils aux changements et aux catastrophes à venir ? Quel poids aura la « #Convention_des_espèces_migrantes » (censée réguler le flux des animaux) face aux migrations humaines ?

      En septembre 2017, un bison d’Europe a été aperçu en Allemagne. C’était la première fois depuis 250 ans qu’un représentant sauvage de cette espèce traversait spontanément la frontière allemande. Il a été abattu par la police.

      https://reporterre.net/Les-murs-n-arretent-pas-que-les-humains
      #Bialowieza

    • Les murs de séparation nuisent aussi à la #faune et la #flore

      3419 migrants sont décédés en Méditerranée en tentant de rejoindre Malte ou l’Italie. C’est ce que révèle un rapport du Haut commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés publié le 10 décembre. Il y a les barrières naturelles, et les murs artificiels. Pendant deux mois, le web-documentaire Connected Walls s’attaque aux murs de séparation entre quatre continents : le mur entre l’Amérique du Nord et l’Amérique latine incarné par les grillages entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique, celui entre l’Europe et l’Afrique incarné par les barbelés qui séparent les enclaves espagnoles du Maroc. Tous les 10 jours, Connected Walls publie un nouveau documentaire de cinq minutes sur une thématique choisie par les internautes. Cette semaine, ils ont sélectionné la thématique « animal ».

      Cette semaine, sur Connected-Walls,Valeria Fernandez (USA) et Fidel Enriquez (Mexico) ont suivi John Ladd dont la famille possède un ranch dans l’Arizona, à la frontière mexicaine, depuis cinq générations. Depuis la construction du mur frontalier en 2007, les choses ont changé pour lui et pour les animaux.

      De leur côté, Irene Gutierrez (Espagne) et Youssef Drissi (Maroc) ont rencontré Adam Camara, un jeune de Guinée Équatoriale qui a tenté de traverser plusieurs fois le détroit entre le Maroc et l’Espagne. Lors de sa dernière tentative, il a reçu l’aide d’un mystérieux ami.
      Pour chaque thématique, un partenaire associatif a carte blanche pour rédiger une tribune. Celle-ci a été rédigée par Dan Millis, de l’organisation écologiste Sierra Club :

      « Les animaux se moquent bien des frontières politiques. Le jaguar de Sonora n’a pas de passeport, et le canard morillon cancane avec le même accent, qu’il soit à Ceuta ou dans la forêt de Jbel Moussa. Les murs et les barrières ont cependant un impact considérable sur la faune et la flore. Par exemple, les rennes de l’ancienne Tchécoslovaquie ne franchissent jamais la ligne de l’ancien Rideau de Fer, alors même que cette barrière a disparu depuis 25 ans et qu’aucun des rennes vivant aujourd’hui ne l’a jamais connue. Les quelques 1000 kilomètres de barrières et de murs séparant les États-Unis et le Mexique détruisent et fragmentent l’habitat sauvage, en bloquant les couloirs de migration essentiels à la survie de nombreuses espèces. Une étude réalisée grâce à des caméras installées au niveau des refuges et des zones de vie naturellement fréquentés par la faune en Arizona a montré que des animaux comme le puma et le coati sont bloqués par les murs des frontières, alors que les humains ne le sont pas. »


      https://www.bastamag.net/Connected-Walls-le-webdocumentaire-4545
      #wildelife

    • Border Fences and their Impacts on Large Carnivores, Large Herbivores and Biodiversity: An International Wildlife Law Perspective

      Fences, walls and other barriers are proliferating along international borders on a global scale. These border fences not only affect people, but can also have unintended but important consequences for wildlife, inter alia by curtailing migrations and other movements, by fragmenting populations and by causing direct mortality, for instance through entanglement. Large carnivores and large herbivores are especially vulnerable to these impacts. This article analyses the various impacts of border fences on wildlife around the world from a law and policy perspective, focusing on international wildlife law in particular. Relevant provisions from a range of global and regional legal instruments are identified and analysed, with special attention for the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species and the European Union Habitats Directive.

      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/reel.12169

    • Border Security Fencing and Wildlife: The End of the Transboundary Paradigm in Eurasia?

      The ongoing refugee crisis in Europe has seen many countries rush to construct border security fencing to divert or control the flow of people. This follows a trend of border fence construction across Eurasia during the post-9/11 era. This development has gone largely unnoticed by conservation biologists during an era in which, ironically, transboundary cooperation has emerged as a conservation paradigm. These fences represent a major threat to wildlife because they can cause mortality, obstruct access to seasonally important resources, and reduce effective population size. We summarise the extent of the issue and propose concrete mitigation measures.


      https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002483

    • Butterfly Preserve On The Border Threatened By Trump’s Wall

      The National Butterfly Center, a 100-acre wildlife center and botanical garden in South Texas, provides a habitat for more than 100 species of butterflies.

      It also sits directly in the path of the Trump administration’s proposed border wall.

      The federal spending bill approved in September includes $1.6 billion in 2019 for construction of the wall. In October, the Department of Homeland Security issued a waiver to 28 laws protecting public lands, wildlife and the environment to clear the way for construction to proceed.

      https://www.npr.org/2018/11/01/660671247/butterfly-preserve-on-the-border-threatened-by-trumps-wall
      #papillons

    • Wildlife advocates, local indigenous tribes protest preparations for new border wall construction

      The federal government this week began moving bulldozers and construction vehicles to the Texas border with Mexico to begin building a new six-mile section of border wall — the first new wall under President Donald Trump, administration officials confirmed Tuesday.

      The move immediately triggered angry protests by a local butterfly sanctuary — The National Butterfly Center — and local indigenous tribes who oppose the wall and say construction will damage natural habitats. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the wall will run through land owned by federal government. The dispute came amid an administration claim that a caravan of 2,000 migrants had arrived in northern Mexico along the Texas border.

      “We’re a recognized tribe and no one’s going to tell us who we are especially some idiots in Washington,” said Juan Mancias of the indigenous peoples’ tribe Carrizo-Comecrudo, who led protests on Monday. “We’re the original people of this land. We haven’t forgot our ancestors.”

      So far, the Trump administration has upgraded only existing fencing along the border. The president has called for some $5 billion for new wall construction, and Democrats have refused, resulting in a budget dispute that shut down the government for five weeks.

      This latest Texas project relies on previously appropriated money and won’t require further congressional approval. Construction plans for the Rio Grande Valley, just south of McAllen, Texas, call for six to 14 miles of new concrete wall topped with 18-foot vertical steel bars.

      Last year, Homeland Security Secretary Kristen Nielsen waived a variety environmental restrictions, including parts of the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts, to prepare for construction in the area. Construction on the Rio Grande Valley project is expected to start in the coming weeks.

      Marianna Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center, remains a staunch advocate against the border wall. She met this week with authorities who she said wants to buy the center’s land for wall construction.

      She traveled to Washington last month to explain the environmental damage that would be caused by the construction in testimony on Capitol Hill.

      “The bulldozers will roll into the lower Rio Grande Valley wildlife conservation corridor, eliminating thousands of trees during spring nesting season for hundreds of species of migratory raptors and songbirds,” Wright told the House Natural Resources Committee.

      When asked by ABC News what message she has for people who aren’t there to see the impact of the new border wall, Wright paused, searching for words to express her frustration.

      “I would drive my truck over them, over their property, through their fence,” she said.

      DHS continues to cite national security concerns as the reason for building the border wall, with Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen saying in a statement Tuesday that migrants in the new caravan that had arrived at the Texas border would try to cross over illegally.

      “Such caravans are the result of Congress’s inexcusable failure to fully fund a needed physical barrier and unwillingness to fix outdated laws that act as an enormous magnet for illegal aliens,” Nielsen said in a statement.

      The last so-called caravan that caused alarm for the administration resulted in thousands of migrants taking shelter in the Mexican city of Tijuana. Just across the border from San Diego, many waited several weeks for the chance to enter the U.S.

      https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wildlife-advocates-local-indigenous-tribes-protest-preparations-border/story?id=60859814
      #résistance #peuples_autochtones #Carrizo-Comecrudo #McAllen #Texas

    • As Work Begins on Trump’s Border Wall, a Key Wildlife Refuge Is at Risk

      Construction is underway on a stretch of President Trump’s border wall cutting through the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Biologists warn the steel wall will disrupt carefully preserved habitat critical for the survival of ocelot, jaguarundi, and other threatened species.

      As Tiffany Kersten descends from a levee into a verdant forest that stretches to the Rio Grande more than a mile away, she spots a bird skimming the treetops: a red-tailed hawk. Later, other birds — great blue herons, egrets — take flight from the edge of an oxbow lake. This subtropical woodland is one of the last remnants of tamaulipan brushland — a dense tangle of Texas ebony, mesquite, retama, and prickly pear whose U.S. range is now confined to scattered fragments in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. The ecosystem harbors an astonishing array of indigenous wildlife: ocelot, jaguarundi, Texas tortoise, and bobcat, as well as tropical and subtropical birds in a rainbow of colors, the blue bunting and green jay among them.

      But the stretch of tamaulipan scrub Kersten is exploring, in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, won’t be around much longer. About 15 feet from the forest edge, Kersten — a board member of a local conservation group — spots red ribbons tied to tree branches on both sides of the trail. Soon, an excavator will uproot those trees to make way for a 140-foot-wide access road and an 18-foot-high wall atop the levee, all part of the Trump administration’s plan to barricade as much of the Texas/Mexico border as possible. On Valentine’s Day, two days before I visited the border, crews began clearing a path for the road, and soon the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will plant a cement foundation in the levee and top it with a steel bollard barrier.

      This construction is the first project under a plan to build 33 miles of new wall along the levee in South Texas, with $641 million in funding that Trump requested and Congress authorized last year. That 33-mile stretch, cutting through some of the most unique and endangered habitat in the United States, will be joined by an additional 55 miles of wall under a funding bill Trump signed February 15 that allocates another $1.375 billion for wall construction. The same day, Trump also issued a national emergency declaration authorizing another $6 billion for border walls. That declaration could give the administration the power to override a no-wall zone Congress created in three protected areas around the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.

      Since the mid-20th century, ranches, oil fields, and housing tracts have consumed 97 percent of the tamaulipan brushland.

      Since the mid-20th century, ranches, farms, oil fields, subdivisions, and shopping centers have consumed 97 percent of the tamaulipan brushland habitat at ground zero of this new spate of border wall construction. That loss led Congress to create the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge in the 1970s and spurred a 30-year-effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, conservation organizations, and private landowners to protect the remaining pockets of tamaulipan brushland and restore some of what has been lost. The Fish and Wildlife Service has purchased 10,000 acres of cropland and converted it back into tamaulipan woodlands; it hopes to replant another 30,000 acres. The refuge, now totaling 98,000 acres, has been likened to a string of pearls, with connected jewels of old-growth and restored habitat adorning the 300-mile lower Rio Grande Valley.

      Into this carefully rebuilt wildlife corridor now comes the disruption of a flurry of new border wall construction. Scientists and conservationists across Texas warn that it could unravel decades of work to protect the tamaulipan brushland and the wildlife it harbors. “This is the only place in the world you can find this habitat,” says Kersten, a board member of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor, a non-profit group that works closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service on the corridor program. “And only 3 percent of this habitat is remaining.”

      For all its efforts to turn cropland into federally protected habitat, the Fish and Wildlife Service finds itself with little recourse to safeguard it, precisely because it is federal property. The easiest place for the federal government to begin its new wave of border wall construction is the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which includes the picturesque La Parida Banco tract, where I joined Kersten. Under a 2005 law, the Department of Homeland Security can waive the environmental reviews that federal agencies such as the Fish and Wildlife Service typically conduct for projects that could alter federally protected lands.

      The tract Kersten and I visited is one of four adjacent “pearls” in the wildlife corridor — long , roughly rectangular parcels stretching from an entrance road to the river. From west to east they are the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge’s La Parida Banco tract, the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, the refuge’s El Morillo Banco tract, and the privately owned National Butterfly Center. A levee runs through all four properties, and the first sections of fence to be built atop it would cut off access to trails and habitat in the refuge tracts. Citizens and local and state officials have successfully fought to keep the fence from crossing the National Butterfly Center, the Bentsen-Rio Grande state park, and the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge farther downstream — at least for now. If Trump’s national emergency declaration survives court challenges, the border barriers could even be extended into these holdouts.

      When the wall and access road are completed at La Parida Banco, a crucial piece of intact native habitat will become isolated between the wall and the river. Species that either rely on the river for water or migrate across it will find pathways they’ve traversed for thousands of years blocked.

      While biologists are concerned about the impacts of the wall all along the U.S.-Mexico border, the uniqueness of South Texas’ ecosystems make it an especially troublesome place to erect an 18-foot fence, they say. The 300-mile wildlife corridor in South Texas, where the temperate and the tropical intermingle, is home to an astounding concentration of flora and fauna: 17 threatened or endangered species, including the jaguarundi and ocelot; more than 530 species of birds; 330 butterfly species, about 40 percent of all those in the U.S.; and 1,200 types of plants. It’s one of the most biodiverse places on the continent.

      `There will be no concern for plants, endangered species [and] no consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service,’ says a biologist.

      “This is a dry land, and when you have dry land, your diversity is near the water,” says Norma Fowler, a biologist with the University of Texas at Austin who studies the tamaulipan brushland ecosystem. She co-authored an article published last year in the scientific journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment warning of the consequences of the new wall for the region’s singular ecosystems and wildlife. Since the wall can’t be built in the river, it’s going up a mile or more north of it in some areas, placing both the riparian habitat right along the river and the tamaulipan thornscrub on higher ground at risk.

      “Both of those habitats have been fragmented, and there’s not much left,” Fowler says. “Some of it is lovingly restored from fields to the appropriate wild vegetation. But because they’ve waived every environmental law there is, there will be no concern for plants, endangered species. There will be no consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service.”

      When the wall rises, the barrier and the new patrol road alongside it will cut an unusually wide 140-foot swath to improve visibility through the dense brush. In her article, Fowler estimated that construction of the border wall would destroy 4.8 to 7.3 acres of habitat per mile of barrier. The fence will also cut off access to the river and habitat on the Mexican side of the border for many animals. Including bobcats, ocelot, jaguarundi, and javelina. Some slower-moving species, like the Texas tortoise, could be caught in floods that would swell against the wall.

      If new walls must be built along the Rio Grande, Fowler says, the Department of Homeland Security should construct them in a way that causes the least harm to wildlife and plants. That would include limiting the footprint of the access roads and other infrastructure, designing barriers with gaps wide enough for animals to pass through, and using electronic sensors instead of physical barriers wherever possible.

      One of the most at-risk species is the ocelot, a small jaguar-like cat that historically roamed throughout Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Arizona, but that numbers only about 80 today. The sole breeding population left in the U.S. is in South Texas, and it is wholly dependent on the dense shrubland in the Lower Rio Grande Valley that the wall will bisect. Some species could be wiped out altogether: The few sites where Physaria thamnophila, a native wildflower, still grows are directly in the path of the wall, Fowler says.

      With 1,254 miles of border — all following the languid, meandering course of the Rio Grande — Texas has far more of the United States’ 1,933-mile southern boundary than any other state, yet it has the fewest miles of existing fence. That’s because much of the Texas border is private riverfront land. The first major push to barricade the Texas border, by the George W. Bush administration, encountered opposition from landowners who balked at what they saw as lowball purchase offers and the use of eminent domain to take their property. (Years later, some of those lawsuits are still pending.) Federal land managers also put up a fight.

      Natural areas already bisected by a Bush-era fence offer a preview of the potential fate of the Rio Grande wildlife refuge.

      When Ken Merritt — who oversaw the federal South Texas Refuge Complex, which includes the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Ana, and the Laguna Atascosa refuge near where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico — questioned the wisdom of a barrier through Santa Ana during the Bush administration, he was forced out of his job.

      “I was getting a lot of pressure,” says Merritt, who still lives in the valley and is retired. “But it just didn’t fit. We were trying to connect lands to create a whole corridor all along the valley, and we knew walls were very much against that.”

      Natural areas already bisected by the Bush-era fence offer a preview of the potential fate of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. A few miles downstream from the La Parida tract, the Hidalgo Pumphouse and Birding Center, which anchors the southern end of the tiny town of Hidalgo, now looks out at a stretch of steel bollard fence atop a concrete wall embedded in the levee.

      On a recent Monday morning, a few tourists milled about the gardens behind the pumphouse, listening to the birds — curve-billed thrashers, green monk parakeets, kiskadee flycatchers — and enjoying the view from the observation deck. Curious about the wall, all of them eventually walk up to it and peek through the four-inch gaps between the steel slats. On the other side lies another pearl: a 900-acre riverside piece of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge called the Hidalgo Bend tract. It was once a popular spot with birders drawn to its ferruginous Pygmy owls, elf owls, and other wildlife. But since the wall went up in 2009, few birders visit anymore.

      At The Nature Conservancy’s Sabal Palm Preserve, a 557-acre piece of the wildlife corridor near the Gulf of Mexico, a wall installed in 2009 cuts through one of the last stands of sabal palm forest in the Rio Grande Valley. Laura Huffman, regional director for The Nature Conservancy, worries that the more walls erected on the border, the less hope there is of completing the wildlife corridor.

      Kersten and others remain unconvinced that the danger on the border justifies a wall. She believes that sensors and more Border Patrol agents are more effective deterrents to drug smugglers and illegal immigrants. Earlier on the day we met, Kersten was part of a group of 100 or so protestors who marched from the parking lot at nearby Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park to the adjacent National Butterfly Center, holding signs that read “No Border Wall” and “Solidarity Across Borders.” One placard listed the more than two dozen environmental and cultural laws that the Trump administration waived to expedite the fence. Among them: the National Environmental Policy Act, which requires environmental analysis before federal projects can begin; the Endangered Species Act; the Clean Water Act; the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act; the National Historic Preservation Act; and the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act.

      Even as the wall goes up in the refuge, preparations for this year’s restoration projects are moving ahead. Betty Perez, whose family has lived in the Lower Rio Grande Valley for generations, is one of several landowners who grow seedlings for replanting on refuge lands each year. At her ranch, about a 45-minute drive northwest of the La Parida Banco tract, she’s beginning to collect seeds to grow this year’s native shrub crop: coyotillo, in the buckthorn family; yucca; Texas persimmon.

      Next to a shed in her backyard sit rows of seedlings-to-be in white tubes. To Perez, the delicate green shoots hold a promise: In a few years, these tiny plants will become new habitat for jaguarundi, for ocelot, for green jays, for blue herons. Despite the new walls, the wildlife corridor project will go on, she says, in the spaces in between.

      https://e360.yale.edu/features/as-work-begins-on-trumps-border-wall-a-key-wildlife-refuge-is-at-risk

    • Border Wall Rising In #Arizona, Raises Concerns Among Conservationists, Native Tribes

      Construction has begun on President Trump’s border wall between Arizona and Mexico, and conservationists are furious. The massive barrier will skirt one of the most beloved protected areas in the Southwest — Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, recognized by the United Nations as an international biosphere reserve.

      On a recent drive along the borderline, a crew was transplanting tall saguaro cactus out of the construction zone.

      “There may be misconceptions that we are on a construction site and just not caring for the environment,” intones a voice on a video released by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the project. “We are relocating saguaro, organ pipe, ocotillo...”

      But a half-mile away, a big yellow bulldozer was scraping the desert clean and mowing down cactus columns that were likely older than the young man operating the dozer.

      Customs and Border Protection later said 110 desert plants have been relocated, and unhealthy ones get bulldozed.

      This scene illustrates why environmentalists are deeply skeptical of the government’s plans. They fear that as CBP and the Defense Department race to meet the president’s deadline of 450 miles of wall by Election Day 2020, they will plow through one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions of the continental United States.

      The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has warned that the wall, with its bright lights, human activity and impermeable barrier, could negatively impact 23 endangered and at-risk species, including the Sonoran pronghorn antelope. And the National Park Service says construction could destroy 22 archaeological sites. Yet, for this stretch of western desert, the government has waived 41 federal environmental laws to expedite construction.

      “This is a wall to fulfill a campaign promise. It’s really clear. And that’s what makes so many of us so angry. It’s being done so fast outside the rule of law and we know it’ll have an incredible impact,” says Kevin Dahl, Arizona representative for the National Parks Conservation Association. He sits beside a serene, spring-fed pond fringed by cattails, and dive-bombed by dragonflies. It is called Quitobaquito Springs, and it’s located on the southern edge of the #Organ_Pipe_Cactus_National_Monument.

      A biologist peers into a rivulet that feeds this oasis in the middle of the Sonoran desert.

      “These guys are very tiny, maybe half the size of a sesame seed. Those are the Quitobaquito tryonia. And there are literally thousands in here,” says Jeff Sorensen, wildlife specialist supervisor with Arizona Game and Fish Department. He’s an expert on this tiny snail, which is one of three species — along with a mud turtle and a pupfish — whose entire universe is this wetland.

      The springs have been used for 16,000 years by Native Americans, followed by Spanish explorers, traders and farmers.

      But the pond is a stone’s throw from the international border, and the path of the wall. Conservationists fear workers will drill water wells to make concrete, and lower the water table which has been dropping for years.

      “We do have concerns,” Sorensen continues. “Our species that are at this site rely on water just like everything else here in the desert southwest. And to take that water away from them means less of a home.”

      The Trump administration is building 63 miles of wall in the Tucson Sector, to replace outdated pedestrian fences and vehicle barriers. CBP says this stretch of desert is a busy drug- and human-trafficking corridor. In 2019, the Tucson sector had 63,490 apprehensions and seized more than 61,900 pounds of illegal narcotics. The Defense Department is paying Southwest Valley Constructors, of Albuquerque, N.M., to erect 18- to 30-foot-tall, concrete-filled steel bollards, along with security lights and an all-weather patrol road. It will cost $10.3 million a mile.

      The rampart is going up in the Roosevelt Reservation, a 60-foot-wide strip of federal land that runs along the U.S. side of the border in New Mexico, Arizona and California. It was established in 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

      Congress refused to authorize money for construction of the wall in Arizona. Under Trump’s national emergency declaration, the Defense Department has reprogrammed counterdrug funding to build the border wall.

      In responses to questions from NPR, CBP says contractors will not drill for water within five miles of Quitobaquito Springs. The agency says it is coordinating with the National Park Service, Fish & Wildlife and other stakeholders to identify sensitive areas “to develop avoidance or mitigation measures to eliminate or reduce impacts to the environment.” Additionally, CBP is preparing an Environmental Stewardship Plan for the construction project.

      Critics are not appeased.

      “There is a whole new level of recklessness we’re seeing under Trump. We thought Bush was bad, but this is a whole other order of magnitude,” says Laiken Jordahl, a former national park ranger and now borderlands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity.

      There was an outcry, too, back in the late 2000s when President George W. Bush built the first generation of bollard wall. Those barriers topped out at 18 feet. The structures rising southwest of Tucson are as tall as a two-story building. They look like they could hold back a herd of T-rexes.

      The Trump administration is using the same Real ID Act of 2005 that empowered President George W. Bush to build his border wall without heeding environmental protections. But the pace of waivers is quickening under Trump’s aggressive construction timeline. Under Bush, the Department of Homeland Security issued five waiver proclamations. Under Trump, DHS has issued 15 waivers that exempt the contractors from a total of 51 different laws, ranging from the Clean Water Act to the Archeological Resources Protection Act to the Wild Horse and Burro Act.

      “The waivers allow them to bypass a lot of red tape and waive the public input process,” says Kenneth Madsen, a geography professor at Ohio State University at Newark who monitors border wall waivers. “It allows them to avoid getting bogged down in court cases that might slow down their ability to construct border barriers along the nation’s edges.”

      The most important law that CBP is able to sidestep is the National Environmental Policy Act, NEPA—known as the Magna Carta of federal environmental laws. It requires a detailed environmental assessment of any “federal actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment.” NEPA covers most large federal construction projects, such as dams, bridges, highways, and waterway projects.

      Considering the construction of 450 miles of steel barriers on the nation’s southern boundary, “There is no question that NEPA would require preparation of an environmental impact statement, with significant input from the public, from affected communities, tribal governments, land owners, and land managers throughout the process. And it is outrageous that a project of this magnitude is getting a complete exemption from NEPA and all the other laws,” says Dinah Bear. She served as general counsel for the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality for 24 years under four presidents.

      To some border residents, barriers — regardless how controversial — are the best way to stop illegal activity.

      “I support Donald Trump 100%. If you’re going to build a wall, build it!” declares rancher John Ladd.

      His family has bred cattle in Arizona since it was a territory. Their ranch backs up to the Mexican border near the town of Naco. The surrounding mountains purple at dusk, as a bull and his harem of cows munch gramma grass.

      Time was when the Ladd ranch was overrun by people crossing the border illegally. They stole things and cut fences and left trash in the pastures. Then in 2016, at the end of the Obama years, CBP built a fence, continuing what Bush started.

      Ladd reserves judgment on the propriety of a wall through a federally protected wilderness. But for his ranch, walls worked.

      “When this 18-foot wall went in, it was obvious that immigrants quit coming through here,” he says. “It was an immediate improvement with the security of our border as well as our houses.”

      Other border neighbors feel differently.

      The vast Tohono O’odham Nation — nearly as big as Connecticut — shares 62 miles with Mexico. The tribe vehemently opposes the border wall. Several thousand tribal members live south of the border, and are permitted to pass back and forth using tribal IDs.

      Already, border barriers are encroaching on the reservation from the east and west. While there is currently no funding to wall off the Arizona Tohono O’odham lands from Mexico, tribal members fear CBP could change its mind at any time.

      “We have lived in this area forever,” says Tribal Chairman Ned Norris, Jr. “And so a full-blown 30-foot wall would make it that much difficult for our tribal citizens in Mexico and in the U.S. to be able to actively participate with family gatherings, with ceremonial gatherings.”

      Traditions are important to the Antone family. The father, son and daughter recently joined other tribal members walking westward along State Highway 86, which runs through the reservation. They were on a pilgrimage for St. Francis.

      Genae Antone, 18, stopped to talk about another rite of passage. Young Tohono O’odham men run a roundtrip of 300 miles from the reservation, across the border, to the salt flats at Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

      “The salt run, for the men, that’s really important for us as Tohono O’odham. For the men to run all the way to the water to get salt,” she said. “Some people go and get seashells. So I don’t really necessarily think it (the border wall) is a good idea.”

      The Antone family — carrying a feathered walking stick, a statue of the virgin, and an American flag — then continued on its pilgrimage.

      https://www.npr.org/2019/10/13/769444262/border-wall-rising-in-arizona-raises-concerns-among-conservationists-native-tri
      #cactus

  • Sisi’s New Prisons « LRB blog
    Omar Robert Hamilton 14 July 2016

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/blog/2016/07/14/omar-hamilton/sisis-new-prisons

    I hadn’t seen Alaa for two years. Two years since we stood at his father’s funeral on the marble stairs of Omar Makram mosque. Two years since he was muscled by plainclothes police into an unmarked car back to prison. My cousin has been in prison for almost as long as Sisi has ruled Egypt. He was sentenced to five years for organising a protest. This month I was allowed to visit him.
    Torah prison complex is built like a medieval fortress city. An outer wall rings a vast area that includes several prisons of varying horror, administrative buildings, farmland, a police academy and, now, a courthouse. We carried bags heavy with food and clean clothes up to the prison walls. We waited with the other visitors in the dusty runnels beside the cement blast walls for the man in black uniform to to drop his leg and let us pass. We sat on the metal seats of a brightly painted road train dragged by a tractor into the penal complex. ‘This is new,’ my aunt Laila said, gesturing at a grey concrete wall. ‘I think it’s maximum security.’ The train lurched forward.

  • Palestinian woman, teen shot dead after alleged stab attempt at Qalandiya
    April 27, 2016 11:19 A.M. (Updated: April 27, 2016 6:43 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771309

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday shot and killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and her 16-year-old brother after they allegedly attempted to carry out a stab attack on border police at Qalandiya military checkpoint near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, police and witnesses said.

    Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said two suspects — a woman and a youth — approached the vehicular path leading through the military checkpoint and walked towards border police officers, the woman with her hand in her bag and the youth with hands behind his back.

    Officers ordered them to halt several times and they began to turn back before police said the woman threw a knife at an officer. Police opened fire, killing the woman immediately. The youth’s death was confirmed shortly after.

    An eyewitness told Ma’an that Israeli forces fired more than 15 rounds into the woman’s body, confirming her death.

    Witnesses are heard in video footage of the scene following the incident claiming that a Palestinian boy approached the woman after she was killed, before being shot by Israeli forces as well.

    The Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an that Israeli forces denied Palestinian paramedics access to the woman and child for medical treatment.

    The Palestinians were identified as 24-year-old mother of two Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail , and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim , according to a Palestinian military liaison. The siblings were from the West Bank town of Qatuna.

    The family later told Ma’an Maram was five months pregnant at the time of her death.

    No Israelis were injured in the incident.(...)


    #Palestine_assassinée

    • Witnesses: Palestinian siblings posed no threat when shot dead
      April 27, 2016 8:02 P.M. (Updated: April 27, 2016 8:02 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771316

      RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Witnesses to an alleged stab attempt on Israeli border police at a military checkpoint in the occupied West Bank Wednesday said two siblings shot dead during the incident posed no threat at the time the Israeli officer killed them.

      Witnesses told Ma’an that 23-year-old Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismai l, five months pregnant, and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim were en route to Jerusalem when they took a path intended for vehicles, not pedestrians, into Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah. The two were apparently unable to understand Israeli officers yelling in Hebrew, and stopped walking.

      Witnesses said it appeared that Ibrahim attempted to grab his sister’s hand and move away from the officers, when they opened fire on her. Maram fell to the ground and when Ibrahim attempted to aid her, he was shot in his tracks.

      A Palestinian bus driver present at the scene, Muhammad Ahmad, told Ma’an that the Israeli officer who opened fire on Maram was standing behind a cement block some 20 meters away from her at the time. The driver said it did not appear that Maram or her brother posed any threat when the officer shot them

      Palestinian local and witness to the incident Ahmad Taha told Ma’an that Israeli officers approached the two after they had been shot and and on the ground before opening fire on them again “to ensure that they were dead,” adding that the officers “could have moved the two away without opening fire.”

      Taha alleged that the officers planted knives on the scene that were photographed and distributed by Israeli police who said they had been in Maram and Ibrahim’s possession.

      The witness accounts collected following the incident contradict Israeli police reports that the officer opened fire after Maram threw a knife in their direction.

      Local sources said Maram was the mother of a six and four-year-old, and five months pregnant. She had reportedly obtained a permit from the Israeli authorities to enter Jerusalem for the first time when she was crossing on Wednesday.

    • Cisjordanie : 2 Palestiniens armés de couteaux abattus à un checkpoint
      afp, le 27/04/2016
      http://www.la-croix.com/Monde/Cisjordanie-2-Palestiniens-armes-couteaux-abattus-checkpoint-2016-04-27-13

      (...) Des témoins palestiniens ont livré à l’AFP une version contredisant celle de la police israélienne et affirmant que les deux Palestiniens avaient paniqué après s’être trompés de chemin et que l’affolement les avait empêchés d’obéir aux consignes policières.

      Les deux Palestiniens ont été identifiés par les autorités palestiniennes comme étant Maram Abou Ismaïl, 23 ans, mariée et mère de deux enfants, et son frère Ibrahim Saleh Taha, 16 ans. Ils étaient originaires de Beit Surik, près de Ramallah et de Qalandia. (...)

      Alaa, un témoin palestinien travaillant près du checkpoint, a décrit une scène différente, avec deux individus apparemment perdus. « Les policiers leur criaient de faire demi-tour et ils n’avaient plus l’air de savoir quoi faire. Ils (les policiers) ont d’abord tiré sur la fille et l’homme ne semblait plus savoir quoi faire. Il a essayé de s’éloigner, et c’est alors qu’ils lui ont tiré dessus aussi, peut-être sept balles ou plus », a-t-il dit.

      D’autres témoins ont affirmé que les deux Palestiniens ne représentaient pas de menace.

      Après les faits, des soldats israéliens ont fait un usage nourri de grenades assourdissantes et de gaz lacrymogènes pour tenir à distance les journalistes.

    • A propos de l’exécution de la jeune maman et de son frère sur le check-point de Qalandiya
      Ma’an News, jeudi 28 avril 2016 | Traduit pour l’AFPS par Moncef Chahed
      http://www.france-palestine.org/A-propos-de-l-execution-de-la-jeune-maman-et-de-son-frere-sur-le-c

      Maram, 24 ans, mère de deux filles Sarah, 6 ans, et Remas, 4 ans, était enceinte de cinq mois, elle était accompagnée par son frère Ibrahim pour aller à Jérusalem, après avoir obtenu un laissez-passer pour la première fois, alors que Ibrahim est titulaire d’un certificat de naissance, mais les soldats israéliens ont mis fin à leur vie avec sang froid.

      Ahmed Taha, un jeune Jérusalémite, qui a vu ce qui se passait, raconte : « les soldats se sont avancés à hauteur des deux personnes et ils les ont exécutées... Les soldats pouvaient leur ordonner de changer de chemin sans leur tirer dessus, vue la distance qui les sépare d’eux ».

      Taha a déclaré que les soldats ont glissé discrètement deux couteaux à côté des deux victimes. Mais la police israélienne a publié une photo de trois couteaux sur les lieux disant qu’ils étaient en leur possession.

      Un autre témoin, Ahmed Mohammed, un chauffeur de bus qui était sur les lieux, a confirmé que le soldat était debout derrière un cube de béton, il a tiré sur la jeune fille à une distance de 20 mètres, elle ne représentait aucun danger pour sa vie, ni elle, ni son frère.

      #Maram_et_Ibrahim

    • Maram et Ibrahim, lâchement assassinés à un barrage militaire israélien
      vendredi 29 avril 2016 - Maureen Clare Murphy - 27 avril 2016 - The Electronic Intifada
      http://www.info-palestine.net/spip.php?article16013

      Les déclarations faites par un témoin israélien suggèrent que les frère et sœur, Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, une mère âgée de 23 ans de deux petits enfants et enceinte de cinq mois, et Ibrahim Salih Hassan Taha, ont semble-t-il été froidement abattus.

      Le porte-parole de l’armée israélienne Peter Lerner, a tweeté que Abu Ismail a été « abattue par la police des frontières avant qu’elle puisse mener à bien l’attaque », indiquant que la femme ne représentait aucune menace immédiate pour la vie de quelqu’un quand elle a été tuée.

      Des témoins ont dit à l’Agence de Nouvelles Ma’an que « les deux étaient apparemment incapables de comprendre les officiers israéliens qui leur criaient en hébreu, de cesser d’avancer. »

      « Selon des témoins, il est apparu que Ibrahim a essayé de saisir la main de sa sœur et de l’éloigner des officiers, quand ils ont ouvert le feu sur elle. Maram est tombée au sol et quand Ibrahim a tenté de l’aider, il a été abattu à son tour » , a ajouté Ma’an.

    • Israel: Private Contractors, Not Police, Killed Palestinian Siblings at Jerusalem Checkpoint

      An initial investigation reveals that a police officer stationed at the site of an attempted knife attack at Qalandiyah fired warning shots, but that fatal shooting was carried out by guards who stood nearby.
      Nir Hasson May 01, 2016
      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.717227

      (...) Ignoring orders to stop, when they were very close to the security barricade before the checkpoint, police said Abu Ismayil pulled a knife and threw it at a policeman, who was uninjured. Police and security guards then opened fire and killed them both. The police released photos of the three knives, the one Abu Ismayil threw and the two found on her brother’s body, one of which was a switchblade.

      According to the police, the two were acting suspiciously and did not heed the police calls to sto. According to Palestinian witnesses, however, the siblings were far away from the police, were not a threat, and did not understand the calls for them in Hebrew to stop.

      The police are refusing to make public the video showing the attempted knife attack. The Jerusalem Police said the video, if there was one, could not be made public because the incident was under investigation. However Haaretz checked and found that in a number of cases in the past the Police Spokesman’s Office had itself made public videos of similar incidences, even adding captions to explain what was happening and justifying the police actions.

    • La police israélienne refuse de publier la vidéo de l’attaque au couteau qui a été déjouée en Cisjordanie
      http://www.france-palestine.org/La-police-israelienne-refuse-de-publier-la-video-de-l-attaque-au-c
      Des récits de témoins oculaires palestiniens contredisent l’affirmation de la police selon laquelle Maram Abu Ismayil, 23 ans, et son frère Ibrahim Salah Tahah, 16 ans, ont refusé de s’arrêter à leur demande et constituaient une menace pour les officiers de police.
      source : Nir Hasson and Jack Khoury Apr 30, 2016 8:31 PM
      http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.717110

  • Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (18- 24 February 2016) | Palestinian Center for Human Rights
    http://pchrgaza.org/en/?p=7885

    (...) Killings committed by Israeli forces in the West Bank were as follows:

    On 19 February 2016, in employment of lethal force, Israeli forces killed Mohammed Abu Khalaf (20), from Kufor Aqeb village, north of occupied Jerusalem. The aforementioned person was killed at al-Amoud Gate, the northern entrance to the Old City, when Israeli Border Guard officers fired over 50 bullets at him. Even according to the Israeli story, Israeli forces could have used less force and arrested him. The Israeli police stated that a Palestinian young man hurried towards a police officer and stabbed him in the head, but to the wound was minor. While the young man was fighting with another police officer, Israeli soldiers shot him dead.

    On the same day, Israeli forces killed Khaled Taqatqah (21) while participating in a protest in solidarity with journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, who is on a hunger strike. The protest was organized at the western entrance to Beit Fajjar village, south of Bethlehem. Taqatqah was hit with 2 live bullets to the chest, after which Israeli forces beat him up, dragged and handcuffed him. In addition, they prevented the Palestinian medical crews from offering him first aid. The aforementioned person was left like that for half an hour until a Magen David Adom’s (MDA) ambulance arrived and took him to Hadassa-Ein Karem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 17:30.

    Also on the same day, Israeli forces killed Abed Hamed (19), from Silwad village, northeast of Ramallah. They opened fire at him after he ran over a number of Israeli soldiers, who were opening fire at Palestinian protestors at the western entrance to the village. An eyewitness said to PCHR’s fieldworker that Israeli MDA crew arrived at the scene and offered medical assistance to the soldiers, but left the Palestinian wounded person bleeding for about an hour, after which he passed away.

    On 21 February 2016, in employment of lethal force, Israeli forces stationed in their military site at the intersection of Beita village, south of Nablus, killed Qusai Abu al-Rub (16), from Qabatya village, southeast of Jenin. They claimed that he was holding a knife and heading towards Israeli soldiers that shot him dead even before he approached them. PCHR’s investigations highlights that Israeli forces could have used less force and arrested him, especially as the military site is fortified with cement cubes.

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces wounded 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, during their participation in protests organized adjacent to the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, northwest of Beit Hanoun, north of the Gaza Strip.

    In the context of targeting border areas along the Gaza Strip, on 20 February 2016, Israeli forces stationed at the said fence, east of al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the central Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian farmers on their lands. Similar attack recurred on 23 February 2016, but no casualties were reported among farmers.(...)