1. Background
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Listen to Border Communities

By Hannah Graf Evans, March 4, 2016

Respect for human and civil rights in border enforcement policies is essential to safeguarding the integrity of our society, yet current enforcement practices are devastating our border communities, contributing to the deaths of thousands of migrants traveling in remote desert regions, and violating the rights of U.S. citizens and migrants alike.

Just weeks ago, Pope Francis visited the southern border between the United States and Mexico and held a mass for the vibrant communities that live in our shared borderlands. The following week, FCNL hosted a group from the Border Network for Human Rights as they lifted up their call to Congress: listen to border communities on border legislation.

Last fall, Rep. Steve Pearce (NM) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX) introduced bipartisan legislation written by border communities themselves. The legislation strives to address realities facing northern and southern border communities by ensuring those directly affected by border policies have a voice in their development, providing expanded training for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers, and establishing mechanisms for CBP to be more transparent and accountable.

Ask your members of Congress to support H.R. 3576, the Border Enforcement Accountability, Oversight, and Community Engagement Act.

As we look towards fixing our broken immigration system, we know that no result will be comprehensive if it comes at the expense of those living in our border communities and further militarization in the absence of just laws. Help Congress start thinking now about border reforms that must be enacted for the true safety and security for all of us.

Hannah Graf Evans

  • Former Legislative Representative, Immigration and Refugee Policy

Hannah Graf Evans led FCNL's lobbying for compassionate immigration and refugee policies, with a particular focus on detention practices, the rights of border communities, and protection of vulnerable communities. Hannah served as co-chair of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition steering committee for three years.