Advocates for border communities have spoken out against the militarization of our borders, the discrimination and alienation of our border communities, and the violence reaped in our communities for decades… it is time that we all, left and right, listen and act. Deaths on the border are not a “wedge issue”. They aren’t a news clip- they are hard and cruel reality of our government’s continued plot to increase the militarization of our borders.
The Border Action Network is just one of countless grassroots organizations doing amazing work for the rights of all americans and immigrants along the border. Check out their site, get involved, and look out for other border rights organizations that need your support!
Border Patrol agent shoots migrant in El Paso tunnel
By ALICIA A. CALDWELL
Associated Press Writer
EL PASO, Texas — A Border Patrol agent shot and wounded a migrant who was crossing illegally into the U.S. through a drainage tunnel early Tuesday, the U.S. Border Patrol said.
The agent, who was not identified, responded with his partner after a motion sensor was tripped and a group of migrants was spotted going into the tunnel, Border Patrol spokesman Doug Mosier said.
The two agents encountered a group of people in the tunnel around 12:30 a.m. One of the agents fired a shot after a migrant made a motion toward him, Mosier said. The bullet stuck the migrant in the left arm, Mosier said, and he was taken to a hospital where he had surgery to remove the bullet and was expected to be sent back to Mexico after being released from the hospital, Mosier said.
The Mexican Consulate was notified about the incident. El Paso Police, the Border Patrol Sector Evidence Team, and the FBI will conduct separate investigations into the cause of the shooting, Mosier said.
The uninjured migrants will be processed and returned to Mexico.
The agent involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative duty pending the investigation, a standard procedure, Mosier said.
Tuesday’s shooting was the second of an illegal immigrant in less than a week by the El Paso Border Patrol. On June 27, an unnamed agent fired at least one shot at a man believed to be a human smuggler after the agent was hit in the head with a rock.
Officials said the agent was trying to help another illegal immigrant who had fallen into a border canal when the suspected human smuggler attacked him. The drowning victim’s body was later recovered a few miles from where the Border Patrol agent first tried to pull him from the water.
The Border Network for Human Rights, an El Paso advocacy group, condemned the shootings Tuesday in a written statement. The group said the lack of congressional action on immigration issues did not “justify by any means, the surge of violent and lethal enforcement against immigrants and much less, to jeopardize the safety of border residents.”
Mosier declined to specifically discuss the group’s statement.
“Our track record of professionalism since 1924 speaks for itself,” Mosier said.
He said the shootings are connected to a 30 percent increase in assaults against agents so far this fiscal year. Rock-related assaults, like the one reported last week, have jumped about 20 percent, Mosier said.
“We are seeing more aggressive behavior,” Mosier said. “The frustration level of some of these smuggling organizations is really starting to manifest.”
Increased enforcement, Mosier said, has likely contributed to that frustration.
The shooting also comes just days after a bi-national pledge to stop drug and human smugglers.
Salvador Zamora, a Border Patrol assistant patrol agent in charge, and Saulo Reyes, administrative chief of the Ciudad Juarez police department, warned criminals last week that they were working together constantly to crack down on border violence.