Communities on Mexican and Canadian Borders Join Efforts to End Border Patrol Abuse

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Southern and Northern Border advocates mark a year after Alex Martínez, a US Citizen was gunned down by Border Patrol in WA

Contact: Ricardo Favela, Southern Border Communities Coalition, Communications Coordinator, ricardo@equalitysandiego.org (760) 468‐519

Charlie McAteer, OneAmerica Communications Director, 206‐452‐8402, charlie@weareoneamerica.org

WHAT: Telephonic Press Conference: “We Are the Border. We Are Alex Martinez” National Day of Action

WHEN: 10:00‐10:45am PST, Tuesday, February 28

WHO:

Ada Williams Prince, Policy Director, OneAmerica (Seattle)

Ryan Bates, Director, Alliance Immigrants Rights & Reform Michigan

Jacki Esposito, Director of Immigration Advocacy, New York Immigration Coalition

Jesus Martinez, father of Alex Martinez

Lidia Reyes, Director of Latino family services, Detroit

HOW: Call in: 1‐619‐326‐2750 / Pin: 2469950#

[SAN DIEGO] On February 28, 2011, Jesus Martinez, a resident of Lynden, WA, called 911 to request medical attention for his son Alex. Within an hour, U.S. Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement had killed Alex, firing 13 shots at him, with 10 of those bullets hitting their mark.

A year later rights advocates from the US‐Mexico Border and the Northern Border are calling on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to make significant policy changes in how ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CPB) carry out enforcement in the northern and southern border.

The Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) will join the Northern Borders Coalition, a union of advocacy organizations along the U.S.‐Canada border, in marking the Martinez family tragedy as part of “We Are the Border. We Are Alex Martinez,” a national day of action to remember Alex, lift up border stories, and call on DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to halt heavy handed enforcement in border communities. The incident remains unresolved.

In 2010 and 2011 Border Patrol agents were involved in at least five deadly shootings along the US‐Mexico Border. Those cases also remain unresolved. The joint actions along the Southern and Northern border comes after rights advocates from the US‐Mexico Border met in Detroit, Michigan with US‐Canadian Border leaders to determine the level of Border Patrol encroachment there.

“During our visit to the Canadian border, there was an eerie familiarity in the testimonies from faith and civic leaders from Detroit regarding abusive behavior of Border and Customs agents to the level of abuse and impunity that communities along the southern border have lived under for generations,” said Christian Ram®™rez spokesperson for the SBCC.

Additionally Northern Border Coalition members from Washington, Ohio and New York highlighted the questionable practices that violate the constitutional rights of those living within 100 miles of the border as CBP's enforcement activity has continually drifted inland while their budget has soared.

“Sadly the tragedy of Border Patrol abuse is no longer unique to the US‐Mexico Border,” said Ramirez.

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