Another letter opposing new Border Patrol Station
“This explosion in the size and scope of the Border Patrol is extremely troubling.”
Dear Mr. Parsons,
We are writing in opposition to the plan by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to spend $8 million on a major expansion of its Port Angeles facility in order to accommodate 50 agents. The current number is 25, up from a total number of 4 in 2006.
Over the past four years, not only has the number of agents dramatically increased. Their duties have, as well. Now, agents not only patrol areas around the port and staff the ferry terminal, they also work closely with both local law enforcement and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in ways that discriminate against people of color and the immigrant community, and that represent a direct attack on the basic rights and civil liberties of us all. For many months, the Border Patrol set up checkpoints along Highway 101 in blatant disregard of the Bill of Rights.
This explosion in the size and scope of the Border Patrol is extremely troubling. It clearly implies that the Border Patrol is part and parcel of Federal policy to militarize the northern border. Signs of this policy were evident in the Spring of 2009 when Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said that “if things are done on the Mexican border, they should also be done on the Canadian border,” insisting the “we shouldn’t go light on one and heavy on the other.” We should be fostering positive relations with the people living across both our borders, not creating war zones.
By going ahead with the plan to expand the current Border Patrol facility, CBP is furthering an intensification of post-9/11 “Fortress America” fear and paranoia, and to an amorphous “war on terror” that destabilizes our entire society.
At the same time, the CBP is contributing to the tragic imbalance in our national spending priorities that allows $8 million to be spent on an unnecessary Federal facility, while schools, health care services, and social service programs are being cut, and employees laid-off, in droves.
In short, we fervently hope that the CBP will cancel its ill-conceived expansion plan and return to the limited mission around which it was founded and has functioned for many years.
Sincerely, Susan Dorazio & Eric Chester