Things That Matter

These Families Need $5,000 To Witness Supreme Court Hearing Over The Deaths Of Their Children By Border Patrol

On Nov. 12, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments for the case of a Border Patrol agent killing a teenager on Mexican soil. Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca was doing what 15-year-old Mexican boys do. He was playing a game with friends on Mexican soil when he was shot in the head by border guard Jesus Mesa Jr from U.S. soil. This happened on June 7, 2010, and has no legal precedent, which is why it’s taken over nine years for a final decision to be determined. In less than a week, Hernández v. Mesa could decide how seriously U.S. officers treat non-citizens across the border, and if those non-citizens will be granted monetary redress for their loss.

The families bringing the case forward are using a GoFundMe to raise $5,500 to both make it to the hearing, but also participate in speaking engagements to raise awareness around border violence.

The presence of the parents will create significantly more media coverage for the victims of border violence.

Credit: Justice for Victims of US Border Patrol / GoFundMe

Over the past 15 years, more than 100 people have been killed by US Border Patrol as a direct result of their excessive use of force. Not one agent has ever been held accountable,” the GoFundMe states. “This systematic pattern of injustice guarantees impunity to US state agents for the criminalization and annihilation of people of color, indigenous, refugees and migrants, both inside and outside of the United States.”

The GoFundMe will allow for Guadalupe Güereca (Sergio Adrian’s mom) and Taide Zojo and Araceli Rodríguez (José Antonio’s grandmother and mother respectively) to be transported, housed, and fed in Washington D.C. for the oral arguments. The money will also help pay for the costs associated with their week-long speaking engagement tour on behalf of victims of border violence. Frankly, the budget set out seems conservative. On the GoFundMe, they list an expected $900 to pay for food for 4 people for 9 days. That’s $25 per person per day, a feat for anyone who has lived or visited the Washington area.

The GoFundMe has raised $3,775 in one week, but the case is being heard in just five days.

Credit: Justice for Victims of US Border Patrol / GoFundMe

It’s not just the Hernández Güereca family that is showing up to demand justice for their child. José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, 16, was shot sixteen times and killed in Nogales, Sonora, by U.S. Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz on Oct. 10, 2012. The agent shot the teenager from the U.S. side of the border in Nogales, Arizona. “Like Mesa, Swartz has not faced any accountability,” the GoFundme states. Swartz said he shot the 16-year-old sixteen times because he was throwing rocks at Border Patrol officers.

For the record, any non-citizen who is shot on the U.S. border can absolutely seek redress thanks to Bivens v. Six Unknown Unnamed Agents, which allows any person who has been injured by a U.S. law enforcement officer to sue for damages.

An anonymous donor offered to match every donation up to $2,000.

Credit: Justice for Victims of US Border Patrol / GoFundMe

On Nov. 5, the organizer shared the exciting news that every donation will be matched, thanks to an anonymous donor. “This is an incredible opportunity for people to double the impact of their contribution as we seek justice, accountability, and an end to US-led state violence against our communities,” they write.

With any funds over our $5,500 goal, we will do two things,” the campaign organizer shared, along with the good news. The “extra” money will help “provide financial support to Guadalupe, Araceli, and Taide, who have to miss work in order to travel. Whatever is left over will help “support their next trip to DC, so they can return to the Supreme Court when the verdict is announced in a few months. We need your help! If you have the resources, please donate!”

The families also want you to share the GoFundMe, and use the hashtags #USMurderPatrol #JusticeForSergioAdrian and #JusticeForJoseAntonio to raise awareness.

Credit: Justice for Victims of US Border Patrol / GoFundMe

Sergio Adrián would be 24 years old today. Jose Antonio would be 23 years old. “Peace and healing are not possible without justice,” the organizers write. “Justice is impossible without accountability which includes reparations for the victims, and guarantees of legal recourse for violence committed by U.S. agents and targeted at communities outside of U.S. borders. The victims of U.S.-led and sanctioned state violence are counting on you to end these egregious patterns of violence and the structures that uphold them,” the organizers emphasize.

READ: Their Son Was Killed On Mexican Soil By A Border Patrol Agent And They Want Justice

She Gave Birth While Still Wearing Her Jeans Because Border Patrol Agents Ignored Her Pleas For Help

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She Gave Birth While Still Wearing Her Jeans Because Border Patrol Agents Ignored Her Pleas For Help

Sherry Munoz / Getty

Unfortunately, there have been no shortage of stories detailing the cruelty experienced by migrants at the hands of Border Patrol officers. But this one in particular has struck a chord with people.

In February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that it had safely helped an asylum-seeker give birth while in custody. But the woman herself has now come forward and thrown that narrative into doubt.

Border Patrol agents in California are now under investigation for alleged abusive treatment of a pregnant woman in their custody.

The complaint filed Wednesday details how a Guatemalan woman gave birth at the Chula Vista Border Patrol station near San Diego, standing up, holding onto a trash can while still wearing her pants. She had pleaded with Border Patrol agents for help, but they reportedly told her to sit down and wait to be processed.

She had been detained with her husband and two young daughters in February as they hoped to apply for asylum in the U.S.

The mother, who delivered her baby while still wearing her pants, asked agents for help repeatedly and mentioned she was in pain.

They were in the midst of being processed by agents when after about 30 minutes, her husband could hear the baby crying through the fabric of her pants.

According to the complaint, which was filed by the ACLU and Jewish Family Service of San Diego, the woman, whom lawyers call Anna, gave birth while wearing her pants, and holding onto a garbage can, even after she complained of womb pain on the trip to the Border Patrol station. 

The complaint states that her husband, who was arrested along with their two other children while crossing the border, helped pull down her pants to reveal his partially-born daughter. The baby was then birthed in the cell, in full sight of other detainees and Border Patrol employees.

The woman and her newborn were later taken to Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center where they were discharged and returned to the station for the night, during which the newborn was not given a sufficient blanket, the complaint claims, adding that Ana was only allowed to shower when she was released to the Jewish Family Service Migrant Family Shelter three days after giving birth.

Yup – Border Patrol agents let a woman endure a painful labor and risked the life of a baby by ignoring her request for help.

Later, at a family shelter run by Jewish Family Service of San Diego, the new mother was interviewed about her alleged mistreatment. After hearing her story, the shelter contacted the American Civil Liberties Union and together, both agencies filed the complaint on the mother’s behalf.

The family is now safe and healthy and reunited with family members in another part of the US, Kate Clark, senior director of immigration services at Jewish Family Service of San Diego, told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday.

Originally, the Border Patrol had released a statement praising their officers for helping a woman deliver a baby – that now looks like it wasn’t entirely true.

The Border Patrol, in a statement published Feb. 19, said the woman “did not appear to be in distress and did not request any medical attention” when she was first apprehended. It went on to say that staff “prepared an area for the mother to give birth” at the Chula Vista station.

Alongside the complaint filed by the ACLU, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal is writing a letter to Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari also demanding an investigation.

The letter is signed by 12 other members of Congress, including Sens. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar, and it seconds the ACLU’s demand for an investigation into the woman’s specific incident, as well as several similar instances of the mistreatment of pregnant people in immigration custody, and an overhaul of DHS policies on the detainment of pregnant people.

El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

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El Paso Shooter Charged With Hate Crime For Deadly Walmart Attack

adriana.candelaria / garbrielndresden / Instagram

El Paso shooter, Patrick Crusius, has been indicted on 90 federal charges related to the deadly attack, including hate crimes. The shooter admitted to having a specific community in mind when he carried out the attack at the Texas Walmart.

The El Paso shooter is facing federal hate crime charges in connection with the deadly shooting.

Credit: p_craig / Instagram

On Aug. 3, 2019, shooter Patrick Crusius walked into an El Paso Walmart and killed 22 people, injuring 23. Some of the victims were Mexican nationals who were shopping.

Crusius has now been charged with 90 federal charges because of the attack including hate crimes resulting in death and an attempt to kill. The shooter admitted to wanting to target Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the attack.

The grand jury that indicted the shooter referenced “substantial premeditation” before the attack.

Credit: @JakeBGibson / Twitter

Before the attack, Crusius spent six weeks buying an AK-47 and ammunition. Shortly before a 911 alert of the shooting, the shooter’s manifesto appeared online. The manifesto spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The manifesto also stated that “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”

Crusius drove 10 hours overnight from Dallas to El Paso to carry out the shooting. After the shooting, Crusius gave himself up to police stating, “I am the shooter.” The federal indictment comes on the six-month anniversary of the tragic shooting.

Some claim that the language in the manifesto parroted some lines and sentiments from President Trump.

Credit: @eptxyds / Twitter

While the wording ming be similar to what President Trump has said in the past, it is not known if the president actually inspired the shooter. According to AP, the shooter claims that his anti-Mexican beliefs were set before the president and his campaign.

A memorial has been built at the Walmart to honor the 22 victims of the shooting.

Credit: tallyngrams / Instagram

“This hate crime may be considered an act of domestic terrorism, as have other hate crimes throughout our history, like the violence wrought by white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, told reporters on Thursday.

The deadly shooting united a community in the face of hate and mobilized a gun reform message from Walmart.

The announcement to change open carry policies for the stores and limit the sale of guns and ammunition was widely celebrated. Gun reform activists saw the move as a way to limit the spread of gun violence in the country.

READ: The El Paso Walmart Where A White Nationalist Killed 22 People Reopens With #ElPasoStrong Banner