But in February, ACLU of Arizona attorney Billy Peard attended a Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting and noticed that grants for $1.4 million for Operation Stonegarden were on the agenda. Meanwhile, over the hill, a group of 18 women and children suddenly appeared. Operation Stonegarden killed that dream, and now his hopes are simply focused on not being deported. They walked past an ear-splitting freight train, scrambled over the tracks, and stood at attention before a Border Patrol agent. In one video, after Benvie spots a group of migrants climbing a hill, he says that he wants to “cut these ones off.” He yells “Alto!” (Spanish for “stop!”) as he runs after the frightened people, including a screaming, stumbling woman with a suitcase. “Did they think they were going to get through?”. Jan 25, 2019. But within minutes of encountering the sheriff’s deputy, he was locked up at the Aransas County jail, awaiting transfer to ICE detention. As the review played out over the following months, the community learned how the program’s funds have, for police, and are often used for activity unrelated to border security, such as, While Pima County reviewed Operation Stonegarden in the spring and summer, Peard contacted labor, faith-based, and civil rights activists to pressure the Board of Supervisors to reject the program. CBP responded only with the boilerplate about not condoning civilians acting as law enforcement agents. “Interference by civilians in law enforcement matters could have public safety and legal consequences for all parties involved,” a spokesperson wrote. NYPD Unit At Center Of Protest Policing Has Dozens Of Officers With Long Misconduct Histories, The Minneapolis City Council’s Attempt To Defund the Police Was Thwarted By An Unelected Charter Commission. Benvie and armed men in camouflage then remain on the scene with Border Patrol agents as they begin to process the migrants. A male voice answers. He said he shot the videos and published them on his Facebook page. But there is no doubt that the program’s funds have been used to target the undocumented community. Nov 09, 2018. the board reinstated the grants pending review of possible problems with Stonegarden, including racial profiling. Feb 12, 2019. When Handing Out Candy To Trick-or-Treaters Means Risking Arrest. At noon, they piled into their truck to get lunch. If He Wins, His Brother Might Take Over the Sheriff’s Office. Debbie Nathan “Yes, sir,” Horton says. Jorge has been in the U.S. for 12 years. Sunland Park Police Chief Javier Guerra told The Appeal that he got a call around that time from the Border Patrol, informing him that a militia was operating near the border. The county received funds from the program for 12 years—in addition to the sheriff. One helps Benvie harass a migrant man and woman they have just detained. Original news and commentary on how policy, politics, and the legal system affect America’s most vulnerable people. But recent discoveries about the medical examiner who conducted the baby’s autopsy raise questions about her case. Oct 22, 2018. The national media jumped on the story within hours after the ACLU distributed its news release, but according to a YouTube audio post, the group set up its camp almost two months earlier, in late February. It also publicized a damning video of the paramilitaries in action in the desert, rounding up scores of migrants, including children, and shining bright lights in their faces. , three members of Congress, two from New Mexico and one from Texas, urged the FBI to look into the activities of militia groups along the border and “whether the groups have been assisted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in any manner.” The FBI could not be reached for comment by press time. George Joseph, Debbie Nathan “Hang on a minute, folks. SB 4 encourages officers to ask for the status of anyone they detain. The board quickly voted against it. Subscribe to our newsletters for regular updates, analysis and context straight to your email. It was an unprecedented rejection of the program for a county as large as Pima. Jorge has been in the U.S. for 12 years. Benvie livestreams while talking with other militia members who are present, describing the people in the video to viewers as “just one group we got control of.”. https://theappeal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Arroyo_Arrest_Aransas_captions7-1.mp4, How One Race Could Change Police Accountability in Arizona. When the video begins, one man has his hands up, and the Border Patrol is on site, but the militia does not leave. It was money he was saving to buy a house for his family. On April 23, five days after the national media began reporting on the paramilitaries in New Mexico, the United Constitutional Patriots were evicted from their camp. That land is bleak and scrubby, bounded by train tracks, lumbering freight trains, and a poverty-stricken neighborhood just over the border in Mexico, where kids play outside and buses drop off men, women, teens, children, and babies who are preparing to cross the international line and seek asylum. In 2007, Otero County, New Mexico, and its sheriff were sued for working during Operation Stonegarden-paid time to, interrogate low-income Latinx people about their immigration status and to search homes for undocumented immigrants. But within minutes of encountering the sheriff’s deputy, he was locked up at the Aransas County jail, awaiting transfer to ICE detention. Because of the furor surrounding Trump administration’s separations of immigrant families, anti-Operation Stonegarden sentiment had grown to the point where the Board of Supervisors voted against using $1.4 million in grant funds in September. Debbie Nathan Oct 22, 2018 On Feb. 7, air conditioning repairers Jorge Arroyo, 31, and his brother Inés were out on the job in Aransas County, Texas, about 150 miles southeast of San Antonio along the Gulf of Mexico. Subscribe to our newsletters for regular updates, analysis and context straight to your email. Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg Oct 01, 2018.
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