Chapter 13: The Border and Human Rights—A Testimony by Roberto L. Martinez
11. What new policies did the American Friends Service Committee begin in the new millennium 2000?
The challenges for Chicanos/Mexicanos is clear: Immigration is changing the face of America forever.
This is why the American Friends Service Committee has launched a nationwide project to build a national immigrant-led organization called Voices. It is also a call to action to immigrant rights groups across the country to develop a leadership strategy for immigrants in order to give them a greater voice on issues that affect them and bring them directly into the policy debate. The project would also serve as a center for national mobilization and a common ground for diverse communities to work together on issues of diversity and multiculturalism. Some of the objectives include:
The U.S./Mexico Border Program of the AFSC in San Diego has implemented many of these objectives almost from its inception 20 years ago, especially that of
The San Diego program will play a major role in the Voices project, as well as continue to monitor and document human and civil rights abuses here in the border region. Over the last ten years police shootings and beatings of
- immigrants and
- homeless in San Diego
has provoked an angry response from the Chicano, African-American and homeless community.
Although, police violence is nothing new in San Diego, or Southern California for that matter, it has become a national scandal. Again, it goes to the issue of accountability and oversight. It can also be attributed to the lack of local government leadership and their support for the ineffective Citizens’ Review Board in San Diego. Their will never be an effective system of accountability and oversight in San Diego as long as the San Diego Police Department has the only authority to investigate citizens’ complaints, and as long as the Review Board and the District Attorney "rubber stamp" everything the police send them.
The National City Police Department and the Chula Vista Police Department run close seconds in terms of police violence and lack of oversight