millennium goals
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(request from Ana Maria Vasquez at the border in Arizona)

Just wanted to keep you abreast of ongoing activities related to the retrial of Lonnie Swartz, the border patrol agent who shot 16 year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez across the border into Noglaes, Mexico. He shot him 16 times and hit him 10 times in the back. The trial last week did not find him guilty even though the evidence was overwhelming. His is not an isolated case. This needs to stop . . . too many dead . . . too many broken families.

Please e-mail the three who will make the decision to move forward with the retrial of Lonnie Swartz. You can also forward your e-mails to me at so I can print and present them to border patrol victims families. The families are grateful for prayers and letters as they are very religious and their strength has made it possible for this case to go forward.

Wallace Kleindienst--Assistant U.S. Attorney, lead prosecutor of the

Sarah Arrasmith--Senior Special Agent with DHS, Office of Inspector General--lead investigator of the

Mary Sue Feldmeier--Assistant U.S.

Please demand a retrial of Lonnie Swartz for the murder of 16 year old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez.

Thank you for your action.



Sometime ago, SISTERS ONLINE wrote about excessive phone charges for people in prison. At the time, we asked our readers to contact their elected officials in Washington to tell them to act on prisoners behalf asking for lower charges. Well, very little if any changes have been made, so we are once again asking our readers to take action.

Phone companies are charging incarcerated people and their families predatory rates for phone calls on approved phones. Families of prisoners can pay up to $17 for a 15 minute call to a parent or child in prison. Many prisons get a kickback from these exploitive rates. If individual states won't step in to help, than Congress must do so. That's where you come in!

Please contact your officials in Washington and tell them to take action. Right now Senators Duckworth, Booker, Schatz and Portman, haved introduced legislation that would limit sky-high rates that phone companies can charge for prison phone calls. The bill that has been introduced would apply to all inmate communications regardless of technology, so video visitation services and other means of communication services will be covered as well. Please tell your Senators to co-sponsor this bill (the Inmate Calling Technical Corrections Act). At this time, Trump's FCC refuses to defend the rule from a legal challenge.

If you have ever had a loved one in prison, you know how important it is to be able to reach them by phone, hear their voices, find out how they are doing, etc. Please act by contacting your elected officials in Washington and telling them to co-sponsor The Inmate Calling Technical Corrections Act sponsored by Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

Thank you!



President Trump has issued an order to deploy National Guard troops at the U.S.-Mexico border, as part of his overall ramping up of enforcement measures and abandonment of any real prospects of extending DACA or of overall immigration reform.

Military deployment at the border through the National Guard has been tried previously by the Bush Administration in May of 2006 and on a more limited basis by President Obama in 2010, and later by Texas Governor Rick Perry, and has been an intermittently used complement to the Border Patrol as part of the drug war since the Reagan administration. Such measures have failed each time they've been employed in the recent past, and have only served to exacerbate violations of the human rights of border families and communities and to further criminalize them. Abuses of this kind are very likely to recur and are in effect being incited by the Trump administration's rhetoric and policies directed at the border and at immigrant communities throughout the country.

We are also deeply disturbed by President Trump's call for intensified efforts by Mexican authorities to deter migrants in transit and potential asylum seekers headed towards the U.S., including the migrant caravan which he highlighted in his misplaced remarks on Easter Sunday. The UN and international and national human rights observers and advocates in Mexico and beyond have long documented recurrent abuses against migrants and asylum seekers by Mexican authorities in complicity with sectors of organized crime, that have resulted in serious human rights violations including massacres, mass kidnappings, and rampant rape and sexual abuse.

All of this is the direct result of U.S. policies through military and security assistance pursuant to the drug war, the Merida Initiative, and the so-called "Southern Border Plan," which have sought to transfer the burden of enforcement of U.S. immigration policies from the U.S. to Mexico, creating a reign of terror on Mexican territory for migrants and asylum seekers in transit. This is reflected in data that indicates that since 2014 the numbers of Central Americans and others detained, deported, and deterred in Mexico have exceeded those by the U.S., at the same time as the overall number of border crossings into the U.S. has diminished.

The migrant caravan and others like it that have been referred to by President Trump are exercising their rights to asylum, refuge, and freedom of movement pursuant to international human rights and Mexican law and should be protected from the danger of potential violations of their rights promoted by the Trump administration and Mexican authorities. The U.S. has the legal, ethical, and moral obligation to receive them with dignity and respect for their internationally recognized right to protection.

--Hope Border Institute