Recent Events

PHP holds open community meetings every Sunday at 3pm at the Arivaca Humanitarian Aid Office. All are welcome! 

FREE SPANISH CLASSES FOR HUMANITARIAN AID

1st & 3rd Wednesdays of Feb, March, & April at the Arivaca Humanitarian Aid Office from 5:00 – 7:00 pm 

Border Residents Successfully Target a 2ndBorder Patrol Checkpoint

Members of rural community initiate oversight effort at Hwy 286 checkpoint, seek accountability from the US Border Patrol, will return Thursday. 

IMG_0608 NEWS
For Immediate Release
[February 4, 2016] 
                                                                                                                       

Contact: People Helping People in the Border Zone

Phone: 520-398-3093

Email:  phparivaca@gmail.com

ARIVACA, AZ—On Wednesday, February 3rd, a group of border residents launched an independent oversight effort at another US Border Patrol checkpoint, this time on Highway 286, 26 miles north of the border with Mexico. Residents of Arivaca, Az are dissatisfied with the permanent presence of such checkpoints surrounding their small rural community. For more than two years, they have demanded the immediate removal of interior checkpoints, citing widespread abuse, harassment, racial profiling, and a lack of accountability within the agency. On Wednesday, residents successfully stationed themselves directly across from the primary inspection area at the Hwy 286 checkpoint, collecting data and deterring rights violations. See video here

Once established at the checkpoint yesterday morning, residents were told by US Border Patrol personnel to move out of the area, attempting to prevent monitors from being close enough to effectively observe. Monitors did not back down, explaining that they are peaceful, non-interfering, and there to exercise their right to observe law enforcement agents operating in a public capacity. Later Agent S. Spencer, Acting Deputy Agent in Charge of the Tucson Station, arrived on scene, insisting that the monitors move back several hundred feet. Again residents held their ground and remained across from primary inspection for the rest of the day. Said Arivaca community member Patty Miller, “today we are here to provide needed oversight, not to disrupt.”

When asked by monitors, agents at the checkpoint refused to disclose their agent numbers.

This is the first time that the 286 Hwy Border Patrol checkpoint has been monitored by border residents. This checkpoint is part of a system of interior Border Patrol checkpoints which residents say do not serve their stated purpose. Such interior checkpoints conduct few to no recorded arrests of undocumented migrants or interdictions of drug traffic; interior checkpoints were responsible for only 0.67% of all apprehensions in the Tucson Sector in FY2013.

Meanwhile, racial profiling and rights violations are rampant at interior checkpoints. A report published by Arivaca checkpoint monitors found that Latino motorists are 26 times more likely to show ID than white motorists and 20 times more likely to be pulled into secondary inspection. Most complaints go nowhere within the agency. Said Arivaca resident Eva Lewis, “it has fallen on local residents to hold the Border Patrol accountable.”

Residents have been monitoring the checkpoint on Arivaca road for the past two years. Half of the community of Arivaca has signed a petition calling for it’s immediate removal. The checkpoints on Arivaca Road and Hwy 286 block the only roads in or out of Arivaca.

Wednesday’s effort at Hwy 286 widens the campaign to bring accountability to a US Border Patrol. Residents will return to monitor today, Thursday, February 4th.

 

################################

################################