Non-profit

ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights

The American Civil Liberties Union Regional Center for Border Rights (ACLU-RCBR) is a division of the American Civil Liberties Union Texas (ACLU-T) that litigates, advocates, and organizes to hinder enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws and expand immigration levels. [1] ACLU-T is the state affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union for Texas.

Using advocacy, legal maneuvers, and left-progressive community organizing tactics, ACLU-RCBR seeks changes in state law that would further open the borders with Mexico, has teamed with the Sierra Club to oppose the building of a border wall, takes legal action against agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Customs Enforcement (ICE), and otherwise creates roadblocks that make detention of illegal immigrants more difficult. [2] [3]

History

The American Civil Liberties Union-Regional Center for Border Rights (ACLU-RCBR) is a child organization of the left-of-center American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU-T) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas (ACLUF-T). Originally housed in Las Cruces, New Mexico and part of the American Civil Liberties Union-New Mexico (ACLU-NM), it relocated in 2017 to El Paso, Texas and became part of the ACLU-T while maintaining a Las Cruces, office. [4]

Overview

American Civil Liberties Union-Regional Center for Border Rights operates with a staff of four and an executive director. Working with the national Immigrant Rights Project of the ACLU and the ACLU’s San Diego, Arizona, and New Mexico affiliates, the center presents a unified effort in the areas of litigation, communications and legislative agendas that make it more difficult to enforce immigration laws. [5]

Activities

American Civil Liberties Union-Regional Center for Border Rights campaigns against claimed ICE and CBP abuses, supports a road to citizenship for illegal immigrants, advocates limiting deportation and expanded due process, and advocates to change state and local immigration laws. [6]

The ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights (RCBR), based in Las Cruces, NM, advocates locally, regionally, and nationally to reduce the presence of  enforcement personnel in border communities and fights to hinder federal agencies in efforts to enforce immigration laws. [7]

Twitter and Facebook posts indicate the group supports restricting enforcement of immigration law by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), promotes a hot-line for reporting CBP officers not wearing personal protective equipment, support for the Sierra Club, opposition to building a border wall, and support for cutting Department of Homeland Security funding. [8] [9]

ACLU-T issued a report titled “Death, Damage, and Failure” calling for denial of funding for any border wall, the cessation of any wall construction, and rescinding authority of the DHS to waive laws related to its construction; removal of restrictions on asylum seekers; and ending forcing asylum seekers to remain in Mexico until approved for entry. [10]

Alongside other ACLU affiliates, ACLU-T and ACLU-NM advocate for defunding the police. [11]

Leadership

Astrid Dominguez, Border Rights Center director, previously led the Lower Rio Grande Valley office as policy and advocacy coordinator. [12]

Executive director of ACLU-T and ACLUF-T is Terri Burke, who leads a staff of 70 including the ACLU-RCBR. [13]

Ranjana Natarajan, board president of both ACLU Texas organizations, directs the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law and previously worked for the ACLU of Southern California. [14]

References

  1. “Border Rights Center.” ACLU of Texas, July 31, 2020. https://www.aclutx.org/en/campaigns/border-rights-center. ^
  2. ABC News. ABC News Network. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/supreme-court-halt-challenged-border-wall-projects-72111849. ^
  3. “Search.” ACLU of Texas. Accessed August 6, 2020. https://www.aclutx.org/en/search/?f%5B0%5D=type%3Acase. ^
  4. “Border Rights Center.” ACLU of Texas, July 31, 2020. https://www.aclutx.org/en/campaigns/border-rights-center. ^
  5. “Border Rights Project.” ACLU of Texas, July 16, 2020. https://www.aclutx.org/en/border-rights-project. ^
  6. “Immigrants’ Rights.” American Civil Liberties Union. Accessed August 1, 2020. https://www.aclu.org/issues/immigrants-rights. ^
  7. “Border Rights.” ACLU of New Mexico, August 7, 2018. https://www.aclu-nm.org/en/issues/border-rights-0. ^
  8. Twitter. Twitter. Accessed August 1, 2020. https://twitter.com/ACLU_BRC?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor. ^
  9. “ACLU of New Mexico.” Facebook. Accessed August 1, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/aclunm/. ^
  10. “2019 Update – Death, Damage, and Failure: Past, Present, and Future Impacts of Walls on the U.S.-Mexico Border.” ACLU of Texas, December 10, 2019. https://www.aclutx.org/en/ddf2019. ^
  11. “The Change We Need to End Police Brutality and Advance Racial Justice.” ACLU of New Mexico, July 16, 2020. https://www.aclu-nm.org/en/news/change-we-need-end-police-brutality-advance-racial-justice. ^
  12. “Astrid Dominguez.” ACLU of Texas, June 11, 2020. https://www.aclutx.org/en/biographies/astrid-dominguez. ^
  13. “Terri Burke.” ACLU of Texas, June 4, 2020. https://www.aclutx.org/en/biographies/terri-burke. ^
  14. “Main Menu:” Ranjana Natarajan | Texas Law Faculty | Texas Law. Accessed August 1, 2020. https://law.utexas.edu/faculty/ranjana-natarajan. ^
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