TUCSON. Rep. Raul Grijalva [D-Tucson] survived a furious right-wing opposition campaign after calling for a boycott of Arizona over its anti-immigrant law. The margin was 49-46 (Editor's note: 50-44, all votes counted). Grijalva was supported in his fight by Latinos and other progressive Democrats from across the country. Meanwhile the border wars continue.
According to the LA Times, the US government is giving up on the high-tech border fence after spending $1 billion so far on contracts with Boeing. As a result, the much-ballyhooed fence may cover 53 miles of the 2,000 mile border.
Tucson human rights leader and pastor, Rev. Robin Hoover, tells the Bulletin that, “It's a disaster, but we're trying to redeem it all by using the towers to hold 9-1-1 cell phone equipment so migrants can call when they are in trouble. I'm hosting a meeting Friday with Customs and Border Protection, SBI Net, Dept of Interior, Pima County, others. If/when economy upticks, we'll have lots of deaths since death rate is rising.”
Meanwhile, a human rights coalition has called on the Obama administration and Congress to halt all Drug War aid to the Mexican army and police as the death toll has risen to 30,000 drug-related homicides. Obama’s FY 2011 budget includes $410 million for the so-called Merida Initiative, which further militarizes the border.