Education

TX Border Schools Won’t “Share” Land with Department of Homeland Security

TX Border Schools Won’t “Share” Land with Department of Homeland Security

LatinaLista — Things are heating up along the South Texas border and it's not because it's spring.
Ever since Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced that his department was intent on seeing a physical barrier built along the Texas-Mexico border within a given time frame, he's encountered one barrier after another in trying to get people to see things his way.
' border=
Residents have been taking to the streets on a weekly basis to protest the federal government's insistence that a physical barrier is what is needed to keep the country safe.
The latest group is the region's school officials.
From college presidents to school superintendents, officials are facing the government in federal courts and giving a failing grade to the border fence.
And while school is in session in the federal courts of South Texas, another group took a petition to another court — the Supreme Court — to clarify once and for all Is Chertoff Above the Law?


Yesterday, the U.S. government dismissed their border fence condemnation lawsuit against the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB-TSC).
In return, the government is granted access to the campus for six months for surveying purposes but has to promise to explore alternatives "to a physical barrier" with the university and has to get permission from the school before they touch even one blade of grass on the campus.
Opponents to the wall see this as a major inroad because it is forcing the government to observe the laws that stipulate the government must interact in a meaningful dialogue with landowners before taking possession of their land.
In another school related intstance, Rio Grande City CISD Superintendent Roel Gonzalez took the witness stand to explain why his school district would not allow border agents on their campus to survey where a fence would go.
Gonzalez told the judge he was protecting his kids. However, the judge shot back that the fence "will make the children more secure."

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Gonzalez said he did not buy that argument.
“We are kids business and if the fence is built I have to explain to the children what that is all about,” Gonzalez said.
“Many of the children come from Mexico and 99 percent are Hispanic. They have brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers, living a mile away on the other side of where that fence will be. I understand the need for border security but it is really hard for me to explain to the children why there families are going to be fenced off.”

The general consensus of those living along the US-Mexico border is that the Department of Homeland Security is on a fast-track to get the fence up before the current President leaves office.
Yet, it seems there may be one more barrier for Chertoff to overcome.
The Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club sent a petition to the Supreme Court asking them to clarify just how much power Chertoff has.

WASHINGTON – Today, Defenders of Wildlife and The Sierra Club filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its argument that the REAL ID Act, which grants Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff unprecedented and sweeping authority to waive any and all laws to expedite the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, is unconstitutional besides being harmful to the environment and border communities. The two conservation groups charge that such unbounded authority to the executive branch is a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers provisions.
“By granting one government official the absolute power to pick and choose which laws apply to border wall construction, the REAL ID Act proves itself to be both inherently dangerous and profoundly un-American. The issue here is not security vs. wildlife, but whether wildlife, sensitive environmental values and communities along the border will be given fair consideration in the decisions the government makes,” said Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife. “We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will take up this case in order to protect the fundamental separation of powers principles enshrined in the United States Constitution”

What is clear from all these cases is that the principle of a democratic free country is working. Otherwise, we'd have in South Texas the same as what is happening in Tibet.
It is right for people to question the arbitrary authority one person and/or one department assumes over others without concern for people's civil or human rights because, as we all learned in school, that's not the American way — not even if it's done in the name of national security.

Education

More in Education

2_136_3b015eaf-218f-4620-8ff2-d974fc071775

Texas Dreamers celebrate in-state tuition preservation

Latina ListaJune 3, 2015
unidos.img1_

Latino immigrants most appreciative of their local public libraries

Latina ListaMarch 17, 2015
nyc-schools-receive-merits

New data shows Latino students’ work paying off on closing the achievement gap

Latina ListaMarch 16, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 2.13.44 PM

College advisor pens song advocating educational rights for DREAMers

Latina ListaMarch 2, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 3.12.32 PM

New report highlights Latinos show ganas to earn degrees but still falling short

Latina ListaJanuary 22, 2015
StatisticalMethodsInEngineering&PhysicalSciences_STATS110

New study finds historic high of Latino students achieved bachelor’s degrees in engineering and the physical sciences in 2012

Latina ListaDecember 4, 2014
biome_mlanan

Too many Latino students battle low expectations from their teachers

Latina ListaOctober 6, 2014
Median

Another example of how education isn’t the great equalizer for many Latinos

Latina ListaSeptember 25, 2014
Carolina

New study finds Latino community college graduates less likely to be admitted to medical school

Latina ListaSeptember 24, 2014