City Resolution Condemns Proposed Barrier on U.S.-Mexico Border

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Just a few weeks after the Berkeley City Council drew fire for its resolution against the Marine Corps recruiters in Downtown Berkeley, a council member is drawing attention to a recent resolution against a proposed barrier that he referred to as a border wall.

In a 7-0-2 vote at their meeting last week, the City Council passed a resolution-sponsored by Councilmember Kriss Worthington-that opposes the federal government's plan to construct a barrier on the Mexican-American border.

In a press conference yesterday, Worthington argued that the barrier, which the City Council called ineffective, would have a negative impact on human rights, especially those of indigenous peoples, and on the environment.

The resolution states that the cost of the proposed barrier, which could be as high as $1.2 billion, would be better used to support local initiatives like improving education and increasing job opportunities.

Worthington said he would also send a copy of the resolution to officials in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

But after the City Council's vote to call Marine recruiters in Downtown Berkeley "uninvited and unwelcome intruders" incited an angry nationwide response, some said the council should avoid addressing national issues.

"They're not doing what they're elected for," said Bruce Cain, director of the UC Washington Center. "As a professor, I wish they would cut that out and concentrate on taking care of the city."

But Worthington said he disagreed because he felt it was the city's obligation to take on controversial topics.

"Some have suggested that the city of Berkeley become an ostrich and bury its head in the sand," Worthington said. "(But) I am delighted that the City Council has taken up this struggle."

Berkeley resident Mandalyn Begay, who read a statement on behalf of Margo Tamez of the Apache community in Texas, said the wall would encroach on the rights of indigenous peoples as well as the natural environment of the area.

"As a sovereign representative of (Apache motherlands), my human voice speaks on behalf of the indigenous plant and animal communities along the US-Mexico border," Begay read.


Contact Rachel Gross at [email protected]

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