Gov. Perry, don’t militarize our borders!

Governor Rick Perry recently announced that “Ranger Reconnaissance Teams” will be deployed to the border to increase security. Translation: more troops to the border means increased militarization of our border communities. This is just more of the same failed border “security” policy that only causes more racial profiling & mistrust in communities of color. Brownsville Mayor Pat Ahumada, has also come out against this move as “an extremist and alarmist reaction to incidents that are happening in Mexico.” As part of the Texas Border Coalition, he believes this increase in troops would be wasteful spending and cause a decrease in economic activity for Border cities.

What we really need is a comprehensive, proactive solution in the form of federal immigration reform policy. In terms of ‘securing the border’ – we need to make sure any policy affecting border security is respectful of immigrants and holds those in charge accountable for their actions.

Unfortunately, the Texas Rangers are anything but respectful, professional and accountable. Among Chicanos, the Rangers are known as “Los Rinches de Tejas” and are known to have lynched thousands of Mexicans based on false arrests due to racial profiling since the 1800’s. The arrested migrant workers on both sides of the border were never given a fair trial and never were the Rangers asked to produce evidence to justify an arrest. (Kind of sounds familiar to the way today’s immigration system works right?)

An op-ed in the Rio Grande Guardian reveals some shocking statistics:

“In the period from 1848 to 1870, some official records show that 473 out of every 100,000 Mexican migrant workers died at the hands of Los Rinches. In the 1850s, Tejanos faced expulsion from their Central Texas homes on the accusation that they helped slaves escape to Mexico.”

It is bad enough that the Rangers have never been brought to justice but now Gov. Perry is announcing to bring them back to the border?
We can’t let him! Please contact Gov. Perry and tell him NO to militarization of our border and NO to the Texas Rangers in our communities!

UPDATE: The Texas Border Coalition has written a letter to Gov. Perry voicing concerns about the Ranger deployment. TBC Chairman and Eaglepass Mayor Chad Foster said that Perry’s announcement “create[s] a public impression of lawless hordes overrunning the border region and do not reflect our collective experience.” Read more here.

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