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Gov Gavin Newsom Halts Death Penalty in California

Gov. Gavin Newsom is suspending the death penalty in California, calling it discriminatory and immoral and granting reprieves to the 737 condemned inmates on the nation’s largest Death Row. “I do not believe that a civilized society can claim to be a leader in the world as long as its government continues to sanction the premeditated and discriminatory execution of its people,” Newsom said in a statement accompanying an executive order, to be issued Wednesday, declaring a moratorium on capital punishment in the state. “The death penalty is inconsistent with our bedrock values and strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a Californian.” San Francisco Chronicle.

We urged Gov. Newsom not to execute anyone on Jan. 22, 2019. Gov. Newsom demonstrates the courage and respect for human dignity that Kamala Harris and Jerry Brown lacked.

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Dear Governor Brown:

I write to urge you to commute the Death Penalty for 740 inmates living on Death Row in California. The Death Penalty is morally wrong. The Death Penalty is also cruel and unusual, prone to error, unnecessary, inefficient, expensive to administer, and fundamentally unfair. I write from professional and personal experience as a civil rights and human rights attorney.

I served as a federal prosecutor as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York under John Martin and Rudy Giuliani. I also represented indigent inmates on Death Row in Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi as a cooperating attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

In Georgia, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the reversal of the conviction and death sentence on the grounds that the prosecution did not disclose exculpatory evidence of innocence to the jury and defense. With Stuart Hanlon, Johnnie Cochran, and others, I helped release Geronimo Pratt, the late Black Panther leader, after 27 years in prison for a capital murder he did not commit. The California Court of Appeal affirmed the reversal of his conviction on the grounds that the prosecution did not disclose impeachment and exculpatory evidence of innocence to the jury and the defense. The prosecution subsequently dropped all charges in both cases for lack of evidence. Fortunately, both were alive to be released and exonerated.

Former Governors Richard Celeste of Ohio, John Kitzhaber of Oregon, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, Bill Richardson of New Mexico, Toney Anaya of New Mexico, and Pat Quinn of Illinois have jointly asked you to save these lives by commuting the death sentences.

Please commute the 740 death sentences. Thank you. Very truly yours,
Robert García
Founding Director-Counsel
The City Project
Dec. 28, 2018

Coastal Commission unanimously adopts Environmental Justice Policy with support of diverse allies! @TheCACoast

The California Coastal Commission unanimously adopted the Environmental Justice Policy March 8, with the support of diverse and growing allies. The Policy is the Magna Carta of coastal justice in California. The Policy is a best practice for local, state, and federal agencies and others in California and beyond.

Nathan Solis reports in Courthouse News Service:

Low-income communities and people of color will enjoy fuller access to California’s beaches thanks to the California Coastal Commission’s adoption of an environmental justice policy Friday that will provide clear guidelines for development projects along the Pacific Coast.

The guidelines will ensure that when the agency reviews permit requests, it considers factors such as outreach to tribal communities, public access to beaches, affordable housing options and each project’s potential impact on climate change.

Friday’s commission meeting in Los Angeles recognized California’s history of racial discrimination in seaside communities going back to the turn of the 20th century when affluent, white residents often blocked people of color from coastal communities and leisure activities on the beach.

Over a two-year period, the commission reached out to environmental justice groups, nonprofits and tribal bodies across California for input on its environmental justice policy. Over 50 environmental justice and nonprofit groups collaborated with the commission to draft the new policy.

Marce Gutierrez-Graudiņs, director and founder of the Latino advocacy nonprofit Azul, said access violations in which developers blocked people from public beaches have been a big issue.

“Our hope is this is the start of a new way of doing things at the coastal commission,” Gutierrez-Graudiņs said in an interview. “We hope that this leads to a more inclusive and more impactful application of the Coastal Act…because it has failed in the past to ensure access for all Californians.”

The 1976 Coastal Act granted the California Coastal Commission authority to oversee public access to the state’s coasts.

The commission wields a tremendous amount of power, according to civil rights attorney Robert García with the nonprofit The City Project, a co-sponsor of a 2016 assembly bill that led to the commission’s new policy.

The intersection of environmental and societal conflicts is an obvious fight for Garcia, who said he has been advocating for greater public access to beaches for years.

“More and more the public is recognizing there are not two crises – one environmental and one social. There is one crisis. An environmental justice crisis,” García said in an interview. . . .

“We’re not only looking at the physical barriers but the socioeconomic barriers,” Commissioner Sara Aminzadeh added.

“Over the last five years, the Commission has questioned whether we are doing enough to provide access for all to our beaches, a right guaranteed under the California constitution,” said Coastal Commissioner Effie Turnbull-Sanders. “Achieving true equity requires us to first understand and own our history of disenfranchisement; then, work diligently and deliberately to create full and inclusive participation in process, policy and benefits. Now the real work begins.”

“The development of this policy has been such a humbling and inspiring journey for us all at the agency,” said Executive Director Jack Ainsworth. “It’s the future of this agency and, frankly, the right thing to do.”

The Commission makes clear equity and equal protection under the law go hand in hand, requiring combined organizing and legal enforcement strategies to ensure access for all. “[E]nvironmental justice emerged out of the civil rights movement to describe the application of civil rights and social justice to environmental contexts,” according to the complete Policy Report. The Policy restates the Commission’s obligation to enforce the Coastal Act, as well as California Government Code section 11135 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provide for equal access and prohibit discrimination. The Policy uses “equity” to refer to outcomes for all groups, with no one factor, such as race, determining outcomes. Demographic and census data is required to analyze benefits and burdens of coastal programs and activities, such as the data US EPA EJSCREEN provides. Next steps for the Commission – and the people – are to implement the Policy through stated objectives, the Commission’s forthcoming Five Year Strategic Plan, a Racial Equity Action Plan, actions on specific matters, and more.

Diverse allies supported adoption and implementation of the Policy, including: Anahuak Youth Sports Association, Azul, Native American leader Robert Bracamontes, Central Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), California Coastal Protection Network,California Environmental Justice AllianceCalifornia LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) and Ventura LULAC, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Biological Diversity, Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas, The City Project, City Surf Project, Clean Water Fund, Community Nature Connection,  Defenders of Wildlife, EarthJustice, Earthwise Productions, GirlVentures, GreenLatinos, Harambee House Inc. / Citizens for Environmental Justice (CFEJ), IDARE LLC, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ocean Conservation Research, Poverty & Race Research Action Council, The Praxis Project, Sierra Club, Sonoma County Regional Parks, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, The Wilderness Society,

Assemblymembers Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood), Monique Limon (D-Santa Barbara), and Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) wrote in support.

By adopting and implementing an environmental justice policy, the Coastal Commission is demonstrating its commitment to diversity and protecting coastal natural resources for the benefit of all Californians regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, or place of residence. For more information see:

Coastal Commmission Environmental Justice Policy.

Enact Environmental Justice Policy, public comments by diverse allies (March 6, 2019).

Promulgar borrador del medio ambiente, recomendaciones de alianza diversa (6 de marzo de 2019).

Highlights environmental justice comments, by Samuel David García Stanford ’18 (March 7, 2019).

 

California Coastal Commissioner Effie Turnbull-Sandes with staff from the Commission, Azul, and The City Project at the California African American Museum following the March 8 hearing.

Kevin de León Environmental Justice and Civil Rights Hero LA State Historic Park Oak Tree

Former California Senate President Kevin de León led legislative support to create LA State Historic Park after The City Project and community allies stopped a warehouse project there. Today the community thanked him with children planting a mature California oak commemorating the environmental justice victory. Senator de León has long spoken truth to power, emphasizing the park is here because of community agitation, not because of the vision of any politician or government plan. This victory kicked off the greening of the LA River, coastal justice up and down the California coast, and the birth of the Green Justice New Deal. Thank you Senate President de León!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future environmental justice leaders from Castelar and Albion Elementary Schools help plant the oak tree honoring Kevin de León.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate President Kevin de León with Elizabeth Chi, City Project Policy Analyst

See the Take Action comic book about LA State Historic Park and green justice.

Enact California Coastal Commission Environmental Justice Policy Free the Beach! English y español UPDATE

The California Coastal Commission unanimously adopted the Environmental Justice Policy at its March 8, 2019, public meeting, with a diverse and growing alliance supporting adoption and implementation. The Policy is available at available at bit.ly/2GCmmpd (Revised Public Review Draft (Feb. 2019)).

The Environmental Justice Policy reads as follows:

The California Coastal Commission’s commitment to diversity, equality and environmental justice recognizes that equity is at the heart of the Coastal Act, a law designed to empower the public’s full participation in the land-use decision-making process that protects California’s coast and ocean commons for the benefit of all the people. In keeping with that visionary mandate, but recognizing that the agency has not always achieved this mission with respect to many marginalized communities throughout California’s history, the Commission as an agency is committed to protecting coastal natural resources and providing public access and lower-cost recreation opportunities for everyone. The agency is committed to ensuring that those opportunities not be denied on the basis of background, culture, race, color, religion, national origin, income, ethnic group, age, disability status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

The Commission will use its legal authority to ensure equitable access to clean, healthy, and accessible coastal environments for communities that have been disproportionately overburdened by pollution or with natural resources that have been subjected to permanent damage for the benefit of wealthier communities. Coastal development should be inclusive for all who work, live, and recreate on California’s coast and provide equitable benefits for communities that have historically been excluded, marginalized, or harmed by coastal development.

The Commission recognizes that all aspects of our mission are best advanced with the participation and leadership of people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, races, color, religions, national origin, ethnic groups, ages, income levels, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The Commission is committed to compliance and enforcement of Government Code Section 11135, as well as consideration of environmental justice principles as defined in Government Code Section 65040.12, consistent with Coastal Act policies, during the planning, decision-making, and implementation of Commission actions, programs, policies, and activities. It is also the California Coastal Commission’s goal, consistent with Public Resources Code Section 300136 and Government Code Section 11135, to recruit, build, and maintain a highly qualified, professional staff that reflects our state’s diversity. Further, the Commission is committed to compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its regulations. [Footnotes omitted.]

Our alliance recommends that the Commission adopt and implement that Policy on March 8. Furthermore, we recommend the Commission implement that Policy through its forthcoming strategic plan and other key decisions on an ongoing basis.

In addition, attached below are highlights of public comments to the Commission from August 2018 through February 2019, analyzed by Samuel David García, Stanford ’18.

Una alianza diversa y creciente apoya la adopción del Borrador de Justicia Ambiental de la Comisión Costera de California – Borrador de Revisión Pública Revisado (febrero de 2019) en su reunión pública del 8 de marzo de 2019. Nuestra alianza recomienda que la Comisión adopte y aplique ese Borrador el 8 de marzo. Además, recomendamos que la Comisión implemente ese Borrador a través de su próximo plan estratégico y otras decisiones clave de manera continua.

Very truly yours,

Raul Macias, President, Anahuak Youth Sports Association, www.anahuakyouthsoccer.org
Marce Graudiņš, Founder-Director, Azul, www.azul.org
Susan Jordan, Executive Director, California Coastal Protection Network, www.coastaladvocates.com
Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan, State Director, California LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), www.lulac-california.com
Aruna Prabhala, Urban Wildlands Director, Center for Biological Diversity, www.biologicaldiversity.org
Kristen Monsell, Oceans Legal Director & Senior Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity, www.biologicaldiversity.org
Robin Gerber, Board Chair, Citizens for Responsible Oil and Gas, www.cfrog.org
Robert García, Founding Director-Counsel, The City Project, rgarcia@cityprojectca.org, www.cityprojectca.org; Assistant Prof., Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science
Olivia VanDamme, Program Director, City Surf Project, www.citysurfproject.com
Dan Howells, California State Director, Clean Water Fund, www.cleanwaterfund.org
Amy Lethbridge, Executive Director, Community Nature Connection, www.communitynatureconnection.org
Kim Delfino, California Program Director, Defenders of Wildlife, www.defenders.org
Raul García, Senior Legislative Counsel, EarthJustice, www.earthjustice.org
Audrey Peterman, President, Earthwise Productions, www.earthwiseproductionsinc.com
Emily Teitsworth, Executive Director, GirlVentures, www.girlventures.org
Mark Magaña, President and CEO, GreenLatinos www.greenlatinos.org
Dr. Mildred McClain, Founder and Executive Director, Harambee House Inc. / Citizens for Environmental Justice (CFEJ), www.theharambeehouse.net
Marc Brenman, Managing Partner, IDARE LLC, www.ets-idare.com
Ron Sundergill, Pacific Region Senior Director, National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), www.npca.org
Damon Nagami, Senior Attorney, Nature Project, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), www.nrdc.org
Michael Stocker, Director, Ocean Conservation Research, www.ocr.org
Megan Haberle, Deputy Director, Poverty & Race Research Action Council (PRRAC), www.prrac.org
Xavier Morales, Executive Director, The Praxis Project, www.thepraxisproject.org
Robert Bracamontes, Bob Black Crow, Yu-va’-tal ‘A’lla-mal, Acjachemen Nation, Juaneno Tribe
Leslie Fields, National Environmental Justice Director, Sierra Club, www.sierraclub.org
Bethany Facendini, Community Engagement Manager, Sonoma County Regional parks, www.sonomacountyparks.org
Miguel Rodriguez, Organizer, Ventura LULAC, www.vclulac.org
Brian Beveridge, Co-Director, West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project, www.woeip.org
Daniel Rossman, CA Deputy Director, The Wilderness Society, www.wilderness.org

Enact Environmental Justice Policy, public comments by diverse allies.

Promulgar borrador del medio ambiente, recomendaciones de alianza diversa.

Highlights environmental justice comments, by Samuel David García Stanford ’18.

Courtesy CCC

No Emergency, No Wall – House & Senate Oppose Discriminatory Bogus Emergency Declaration #NoBorderWall UPDATES

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, said on Sunday that he would support a resolution that would overturn President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, appearing to provide the crucial vote needed for the Senate to pass the measure. . . .  “I cannot support the use of emergency powers to get more funding” for a wall along the border with Mexico, he wrote, “so I will be voting to disapprove of his declaration when it comes before the Senate.”

Mr. Paul joins three other Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — in backing the resolution. His support appears to provide the slim majority Democrats need to send the measure to the president’s desk, offering a stinging repudiation of the declaration.

The House, largely on party lines, passed the resolution on Tuesday, and under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, the Senate is required to vote on the resolution in the coming weeks. Mr. Trump has said he would veto the measure, and it is unlikely that either chamber could muster the two-thirds majority needed to override a veto.

But with several lawsuits already filed in court, a resolution of disapproval from Congress — the simplest mechanism for lawmakers to challenge a declaration — could help opponents of the declaration.

Read the rest of this story in the New York Times . . .

The emergency declaration violates the separation of powers, and discriminates against people of color and low income people, including Native Americans, in US border communities, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. The declaration is not narrowly crafted to serve a compelling state interest. There are less discriminatory means to accomplish legitimate ends of national security. Don’t be silent on discrimination.

Four black women leaders on climate, justice, and the green ‘Promised Land’

Leslie Fields: I really love E.J. because you can be a kid, you can be a grandmama, an abuela, a professional person — anybody can do it. That makes it messy and complicated but that’s also what makes really beautiful: anybody can get involved to preserve their natural and cultural environment. The people in their communities, they know what they’re doing. We try really hard to do what we can to support them and they have the solutions on the ground. The problem is when they don’t get to lead.

* Adrienne Hollis, Lead Climate Justice Analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists
* Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program
* Leslie Fields, Director- Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships at the Sierra Club
* Mary Annaïse Heglar, Director Of Publications at the Natural Resources Defense Council

Read the complete story on grist

How the US Upper Middle Class Are Doing NYT Picketty Saez Zucman

To make grand pronouncements about the American economy, you need to talk about three groups.

The first is indeed the top 1 percent of earners, and especially the very richest. Their post-tax incomes (and wealth)  have surged  since 1980, rising at a much faster rate than economic growth. They are now capturing an even greater share of the economy’s bounty.

Then there are the bottom 90 percent of households, who are in the opposite position. The numbers here take into account taxes and government transfers, like Social Security, financial aid and anti-poverty benefits. Even so, the incomes of the bottom 90 percent have trailed G.D.P. Over time, their share of the economy’s bounty has shrunk.

Finally, there is the upper middle class, defined here as the 90th to 99th percentiles of the income distribution (making roughly $120,000 to $425,000 a year after tax). Their income path doesn’t look like that of either the first or second group. It’s not above the line or below it. It’s almost directly on top of it. Since 1980, the incomes of the upper middle class have been growing at almost the identical rate as the economy. . . . 

And for too long, the country’s economic policy, even under Democrats, has blurred the distinction between the upper middle class and the actual middle class. . . .

A better approach exists. Politicians should recognize that there are three broad income groups, not just two. The bottom 90 percent of Americans does deserve a tax cut, to lift its stagnant incomes. The top 1 percent deserves a substantial tax increase. The upper middle class deserves neither. Its taxes should remain roughly constant, just as its share of economic output has.

Read the complete story in the New York Times 

Korematsu is gravely wrong & overruled; such discrimination to protect national security is unlawful, outside presidential authority & has no place under the Constitution – Justice John Roberts. No Emergency, #NoBorderWall

Korematsu was “gravely wrong the day it was decided” and “overruled in the court of history”; discrimination based on race, color, or national origin to protect national security is objectively unlawful, outside the scope of presidential authority, and has no place under the Constitution. Chief Justice John Roberts, Trump v Hawaii (2018), reversing Korematsu v United States (1944). No emergency, no wall“I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this,“ the current president said, while simultaneously declaring the – fake – emergency.

Jan 30: Korematsu Day celebrating his birthday in California. Feb 15: the current president declared an emergency to stop the wall. Feb 18 President’s Day: California led the states filing suit against the emergency declaration.

Victory for Coastal Justice NRPA

NRPA reported on the epic struggle to free the California coast at Hollister Ranch and beyond in August 2018. That coverage helped diversify support for coastal justice, and opposition to a proposed settlement between wealthy beachfront private property owners and state officials that excluded the public. Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Colleen K. Sterne upheld the public’s right to be heard on coastal justice for all, and refused to approve the proposed settlement, in a ruling finalized February 8, 2019.

The result and reasoning of the court are precisely correct, placing substance over form in the struggle for coastal justice for all. The property owners “have not met their burden to show that the Class Settlement is fair and reasonable.” According to the court, “[T]here is substantial opposition on behalf of the absent but affected public interest.”

The public has a right to coastal justice and is entitled to be heard on the fairness of the proposed settlement. People who are of color, low income, Native American, disabled or older, and others, have a right to the beach and coastal zone up and down California. Coastal justice is about equal access, human dignity, and freedom. These basic rights are not limited to private property owners who are disproportionately rich and non-Hispanic white, mainstream environmentalists and local residents privileged to live nearby. The court’s decision is a victory for coastal justice.

California League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), GreenLatinos, and The City Project worked with the Gaviota Coast Trail Alliance to present these interests successfully in court. The court implicitly recognizes the California Attorney General, the Coastal Commission and the Coastal Conservancy do not adequately represent the people on the proposed settlement.

The property owners argued only their own private property rights are at stake. The property owners are wrong. “[E]xisting law supports a determination of fairness to ‘all concerned,” including the public, according to the court.

The court denied the property owner’s motion to approve the settlement without prejudice, on procedural grounds. However, the court denied the Alliance’s motion to reject the settlement. This ruling provides coastal justice advocates with opportunities to build broader support for public access in and out of court. The Commission has already scheduled a public hearing on alternatives to protect coastal justice at Hollister in March 2019.

The City Project is a non-profit civil rights leader on coastal justice. LULAC is the nation’s largest, oldest and most respected Latino organization. GreenLatinos is a national network of environmental, health equity and social justice leaders.

The Gaviota Coast Trail Alliance includes the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, Santa Barbara County Trails Council, Coastwalk/California Coastal Trail Association and California Coastal Protection Network.

“Wealthy moneyed interests and powerful state agencies are equal to the public in the eyes of the law, especially when Constitutionally protected rights of coastal access are concerned,” — Phil McKenna, Gaviota Coast Conservancy

“A continuous Coastal Trail from Gaviota State Park to Jalama has been Coastwalk’s goal for many years. Access across Hollister Ranch is an essential element, and this ruling is a step forward.” — Cea Higgins, Coastwalk

“Hollister has resisted allowing the public to access beaches and state tidelands for decades,” — Susan Jordan, California Coastal Protection Network

“This ruling reflects the importance of public interest advocates in this lawsuit,” — Marc Chytilo, attorney for the Gaviota Coast Trail Alliance

For more information see:

The court order in Pappas v. California Coastal Conservancy

Free the Beach!: Coastal Access, Equal Justice, and Hollister Ranch (The City Project Policy Report 2018)

National Park Service Report, Gaviota Coast Feasibility Study & Environmental Assessment (2004).

Robert García is Founding Director-Counsel for The City Project, a nonprofit environmental justice and civil rights organization based in Los Angeles.

NRPA OpenSpace Blog (National Recreation & Parks Association).

No Emergency, No Wall – Oppose Discriminatory Bogus Emergency Declaration #NoBorderWall UPDATES

UPDATE GreenLatinos Joins Earthjustice Suit against Discriminatory Declaration March 14, 2019

This president’s totalitarian terrorist tactic, declaring an emergency to build the wall, is a face saving win-win for him, this administration, and their enablers to claim he met his campaign promise in the 2020 elections. If courts strike down the declaration, the courts and his opponents tied his hands, so vote for him. If courts acquiesce, they claim he met his promise, so vote for him. I could do the wall over a longer period of time. I didn’t need to do this,“ he said, while simultaneously declaring the –  fake – emergency.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US House of Representatives
Chairman Raul Grijavla and Honorable Members, House Natural Resources Committee
Representative Jimmy Gomez
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Kamala Harris

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Grijalva, Honorable Representatives and Senators:

Declaring a national emergency to fund and build a border wall would discriminate against people of color, low income people and indigenous people in communities along the border. They are not necessary and narrowly crafted to serve any compelling state interest. There are less discriminatory means to serve any legitimate state interest. The declaration and wall are not necessary and effective to stem immigration, child smuggling, drug trafficking, or violent crime, or to protect jobs and the economy. Electronic barriers along the border and other border security and immigration provisions are more effective, less discriminatory means to serve such goals.

Leading constitutional scholars have Prof. Bruce Ackerman at Yale Law School and Prof. Lawrence Lessig at Harvard Law School have articulated why this president does not have any Constitutional authority to declare a national emergency to build the wall, and to use the military to patrol the border.

A bogus national emergency declaration and wall would discriminate against Tohono O’odham people, who stand to lose sacred sites, cultural resources, and sovereign lands on this side of the border. No one else will. This violates their rights under the Equal Protection Clause against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or ancestry. This violates their Native American religion rights under the First Amendment. This violates their Native American rights as a sovereign nation entitled to respectful government to government consultation.

A bogus national emergency declaration and wall would discriminate against people of color who disproportionately live in communities on the US side of the border under the Equal Protection Clause, based on race, color, national origin, or ancestry. This president’s words and action provide ample evidence of discrimination, including denouncing Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers, and dismissing home nations of immigrants as shit house nations.

Rep. Will Hurd who opposes the wall, is a Republican and former CIA agent who represents borderland communities in Texas. An electronic barrier, not concrete, steel slats, or other physical barriers, and other measures provide better security, according to Rep. Hurd.

There is no immigration crisis at the border with Mexico and the US. There was no emergency while Republicans controlled White House, House, and Senate for the past two years. Undocumented immigration is at historic lows. Most undocumented immigrants are people who arrive in the US with papers and overstay their visas. Most migration at the border is by families migration, not by unaccompanied minors.

There is no drug crisis at the border. Most illicit narcotics enter the US through other ports of entry and over water.

There is no crisis of violent immigrant crime. The crime rate is lower among undocumented people than among the general population.

The wall does not benefit African Americans, Latinos, and other low income people by saving their jobs from low paid immigrants. Unemployment rates have continued to be generally lower over the past two administrations.

I am an immigrant. I came from Guatemala to the US with three generations of my family. My father was deported twice before that. My uncle joined the US Air Force as an undocumented immigrant, obtained his US citizenship through his service, and retired after 20 years of service

This president’s bogus claims invoking a national emergency to build the wall are totalitarian methods that terrorize immigrants who help build this nation in order to save face for the 2020 elections. Oppose any national emergency declaration and wall.

Very truly yours,

Robert García
Founding Director-Counsel
The City Project

References

Prof. Bruce Ackerman, No, Trump Cannot Declare an ‘Emergency’ to Build His Wall, N.Y. Times, Jan. 5, 2019l.

Prof. Lawrence Lessig, Trump’s border wall demand is constitutionally illegitimate, The Guardian (Jan. 4, 2019),

Trump v Hawaii, 585 U.S. — (2018), slip opinion at 38 (reversing Korematsu v United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) as “gravely wrong the day it was decided” and “overruled in the court of history”; such discrimination is objectively unlawful, outside the scope of presidential authority, and has no place under the Constitution) (Roberts, C.J.).

Marta A. Segura and Robert García, Protect People, Wildlife, Places, and Values, NRPA Parks & Recreation Magazine (Dec. 2017). Available in English and en Español.

N.Y. Times, Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Fact Checks and Background (Jan. 9, 2019).

Emily Cochrane, Only One House Republican Represents the Borderland, and He Opposes a Wall, N.Y. Times, Jan. 17, 2019.

Written testimony on impact of wall and shutdown joined by The City Project, Center for Biological Diversity, California LULAC & The Praxis Project.

Robert García, Xavier Morales & Mark Magaña, A Framework for Civil Rights, Environmental Justice, and Health Equity, chapter in Poverty, Race, and Research Action Council handbook called Strategies for Health Justice: Lessons from the Field (2018), at pages 45-57.

Indigenous Environmental Network et al. v US Dept of State et al (US D Ct Montana 2017) (blocking Keystone XL Pipeline based in part on impact against Native Americans).

David Treur, The Heartbreak of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present (2019).

UPDATES

The Real Problem With Trump’s National Emergency Plan. The fact that the president may have the authority to throw away billions on a foolish campaign promise is itself scandalous. By Peter H. Schuck NYT, an emeritus professor of law at Yale and scholar-in-residence at N.Y.U.

Trump Declared a Border Emergency. Here’s How It Could Be Undone in Court. By Simon Romero NYT.

16 States Sue to Stop Trump’s Use of Emergency Powers to Build Border Wall. By Charlie Savage and Robert Pear NYT.