Christian Ramirez of American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that tracks border violence, said the blame lies on both sides of the border. Ramirez said smuggling cartels trying to push their goods into the U.S. are clashing with an ever-expanding collection of law enforcement officers on the U.S. side, leaving illegal immigrants simply looking for work caught in the crossfire.
A community radio station in Austin recently featured an interview with Josefina Castillo and Judith Rosenberg regarding Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera (Austin So Close to the Border). ATCF will become an independent organization on September 30, 2010.
AFSC staff have expressed their sorrow about the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, an immigrant who died after being tasered by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent during Memorial Day weekend. A father of five children who were born in the United States, Hernandez was recently deported to Mexico after living in the U.S. for many years.
AFSC, along with immigrant community partners, have long called for a demilitarization of the Mexico-U.S. border and new policies that protect the rights and dignity of all, including immigrants.
In February 2010, 11 of us trooped down to Piedras Negras Mexico to celebrate our 10-year anniversary with our Mexican partners, the CFO (Comité Fronterizo de Obreras/os). We looked back; we looked forward. We evaluated, sang praises, and ate barbeque chicken. They gave us plaques of recognition and gifts. Some of us, Mexican and US, were awed. Some of us were new to the idea of our solidarity and were thrilled--or confused.
“A very appealing feature of the CFO philosophy is that they never impose an agenda on the workers, but instead respond to needs that workers articulate. They say ‘Always go to the workers with empty hands’—equivalent to our idiom of an open mind.” - Judith Rosenberg, Co-founder of Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera
AFSC-Austin has supported grassroots initiatives among workers, migrants and activists for over a decade.
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.