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Keys tourism would suffer from federal shutdown

Florida Keys backcountry guides have not forgotten the lost days of 2013, when large parts of the the federal government closed due to the federal government not passing a budget.

It was brutal, Key Largo fishing captain Lain Goodwin said Tuesday, recalling the closure of Florida Bay inside Everglades National Park. The possibility of another federal shutdown returned this week with Congress trying to come to terms on a federal budget extension that won t be blocked by President Trump. Without action by midnight Friday, many federal agencies would close. Those agencies include Everglades National Park and Florida Keys national wildlife national refuges. All boaters, including guides who specialize in fishing Florida Bay s shallow waters, were banned from 1,100 square miles of park waters during the 16-day shutdown in 2013.

As we learned a couple of years ago, it s all a gimmick, a game for politicos in Washington D.C., said Steve Friedman, commodore of the Florida Keys Fishing Guides Association. Unfortunately, they re playing with our livelihoods. And it winds up costing [the government] more money to keep us out instead of letting us do our jobs.

A sticking point in the federal budget debate includes the Trump administration s demand for some funding for the proposed border wall with Mexico. Many members of Congress either object to spending on the wall or do not consider it a priority. Funding for the Affordable Care Act also is in the mix. The 2013 shutdown took place in October. A spring shutdown would be worse, fishing guides say.

May is the busiest time for everybody, Friedman said. We re talking about hundreds, maybe thousands, of guides.

It s tarpon season and the weather is better, Goodwin said. I m booked for seven straight days. Resorts and restaurants also would suffer, the guides noted. A shutdown just is not good for anybody in the Florida Keys, Goodwin said.

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary closed its offices and furloughed workers during the 2013 shutdown, but sanctuary boat trips to the Florida Keys reef were not affected. Sanctuary patrol officers work for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission under the sanctuary s partnership with the state. Sanctuary managers could not be reached at press time. The U.S. Coast Guard would continue its regular water patrols off the Keys as a military agency exempt from shutdowns, said Capt. Jeffrey Janszen, commander of Coast Guard Key West sector. Our personnel will be out there still providing border security and drug enforcement, he said.

Some Coast Guard civilian staff considered non-exempt could be furloughed, he said. Air-traffic controllers and airport security would remain on duty during a shutdown, although travel times could be affected, news reports indicate. Passport applications could take longer to process. Social Security checks will be mailed and the U.S. Postal Service remains in operations, but the Internal Revenue Service will stop issuing refunds and not complete audits. Overall, an estimated 800,000 federal workers nationally would be sent home during a shutdown.

Tribal leader warns of protest if Trump insists on border wall: ‘There is no word for wall in our language’

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATIONTohono O’odham Nation oppposes Trump’s proposed border wall | 0:42

Verlon Jose on the cost of the border wall: Taxpayers of America if they don t wake up and realize $30 billion dollars of their taxpaying money is going to go to something that is not going to be 100 percent effective.” Dianna M. N ez/The Republic

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATION‘There is no word for wall in our language’ | 1:22

Tohono O’odham Nation vice chairman Verlon Jose: There is no word for wall in our language because there s not meant to be any walls. Dianna M. N ez/The Republic

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATIONGerald Sparks speaks at the Tohono O’odham Nation | 0:45

Gerald Sparks said he joined the caravan because of a rise in racism against black people. Traveling, he heard immigrants’ stories and felt the fight against injustice is stronger when marginalized communities unite. Dianna M. N ez/The Republic

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATIONTohono O’odham Nation fights Trump’s proposed border wall | 0:24

Tohono O’odham vice chairman Verlon Jose joins final chant and says goodbye to travelers with the Caravan Against Fear group traveling the southwest to raise awareness of migrant rights and border issues. Dianna M. N ez/The Republic

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' THE CARAVAN AGAINST FEAR VISITS TOHONO O’ODHAM NATIONCaravan Against Fear and Tohono O’odham sign | 0:21

Travelers with the Caravan Against Fear, which started in California and ends in Texas, entered the mission on Tohono O’odham Nation lands singing in Spanish and Nahuatl, the language of an indigenous people of Mexico. Dianna M. N ez/The Republic

TOPAWA The strangers arriving in the noisy caravan of white vans seemed out of place at the desert mission in Topawa, where a ghostly rhythm drew on the sounds of dusty winds, screeching crows and a friar hammering atop St. Catherine Church s aged roof. The strangers stepped out of the vans and clasped hands, forming a chain snaking across the dirt. They sang in Spanish and Nahuatl, the language of indigenous people native to Mexico.

Abuelito, Abuelita,

Yo les quiero tanto, tanto,

Yo les canto, canto, canto,

Inica inihuei temetzcaltzin

Inica inihuei temetzcaltzin

The song was a gift to the Native people who had welcomed them as guests. It was days into the Caravan Against Fear, a group traveling from California across the Southwest to Texas to build a coalition for their mission: to defend immigrant rights, to keep migrant families together and to resist President Donald Trump s policies. They chanted a message printed on T-shirts for the trek: No Deportations, No Ban, No Wall, Sanctuary for All.

The group of about 60 people came to the San Solano Missions, south of Sells and about 20 miles from the U.S. border, to hear the Tohono O odham Nation s vice chairman, Verlon Jose, speak about Trump s proposed border wall. The structure would cut through about 75 miles of the nation, physically dividing the reservation in two and effectively isolating tribal members who live on the Mexican side of the border.

Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language'

Donald Trump’s border wall

Before the day was over and the guests left the remote desert mission on tribal lands, Jose would bash Trump’s proposed wall, calling it a waste of taxpayer dollars and comparing it to the Berlin Wall. He would call on people to see the barrier as an international human-rights issue, offer an alternative plan for tightening border security, and acknowledge that innocent tribal members are subjected to increased vehicle searches by Border Patrol agents. He also warned of a mass protest on the border if diplomacy fails to keep the U.S. government off Tohono O’odham land, a protest that he said would rival Standing Rock.

Dividing land and people

Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language'

Tohono O’odham Nation vice chairman Verlon Jose is a vocal opponent of Trump’s proposed border wall. He said the tribe will try diplomacy first, but is prepared to stage a protest that would rival Standing Rock. (Photo: Dianna M. N ez/The Republic)

The Tohono O odham Nation the second-largest tribe by land holdings in the U.S. sits on an estimated 2.7 million acres in southern Arizona s Sonoran Desert and stretches across the border into the Mexican state of Sonora. Tribal leaders have made angry statements opposing the wall[3], saying it would violate their tribal sovereignty, separate them from family members who live on the Mexican side of the border, harm the land and its plants and animals, as well as cut them off from ancient paths for ceremonial pilgrimages across the desert.

They admit they face a battle if the U.S. government tries to leverage public support for homeland security and immigration enforcement and invoke legal justifications, including eminent domain, to build the wall. Still, the tribe believes it can leverage public sympathy and perhaps join others, including private-property owners along the proposed wall route, who could tie the government up with prolonged lawsuits. There s also the specter of a mass protest that some say would rival the international attention drawn by the Standing Rock protesters at the site of an oil pipeline in North Dakota. Jose, a man who says he likes to talk, maybe too much, and hates it when people put on airs, embraces being the face of the tribe s fight. He made national news headlines for his comments last November to Phoenix public-radio station KJZZ about Trump s[4] border-wall[5] proposal[6]:

Over my dead body will a wall be built, he said.

He s traveled with delegations to Washington for meetings with political leaders and joined panel discussions at U.S. college campuses explaining why the tribe opposes the wall. He starred with his friend and the nation s chairman, Edward Manuel, in a video released in February.

[embedded content]

Standing at a tribal border gate amid dense brambles of mesquite, Jose laid out the history, tradition and what life is like for people who say they have no word in their language for the English term wall.

Tohono O odham have been in this area since time immemorial, he said. There was a significant action that took place called the Gadsden Purchase[7] the United States government purchased land from Mexico, which dissected our aboriginal lands of the Tohono O odham, some of our members in Mexico and some of our members from the United States.

Telling their personal stories

Show Thumbnails Show Captions

At first all this started, for me, with the racism being a black man in Los Angeles and, you know, having family all over the country, I started hearing more stories, he said. Now that I heard more and more stories, it s motivating me and making me want to participate even more because of a lot of the immigrant stories. At 79, Petra Ramirez was the oldest member of the caravan. At less than 5 feet, she was also the shortest. People took turns holding her hand to steady her as she walked.

She said she was born in Mexico, but lives in Fresno, California, where she helps people who need dialysis access their Medicare coverage. She came to the U.S. with a visa, but stayed after it expired. A family member helped her apply for legal status. It took years, she said, but now she knows what it is like to live in the U.S. without fear. She stood and spoke in Spanish, Estoy muy feliz y muy contento. A caravan leader translated for her, telling the group that Ramirez felt happy and honored to join the fight. Soon the friars spoke. They praised Jose for raising the social consciousness of his people.

‘This is bigger … it’s a human issue’

When it was Jose’s turn, he asked all of the janitors in the room to stand. He thanked them for their work. He said their job has honor, and that when people ask him what his job is, he often says he is the janitor.

Whether I m the vice chair of this nation, (or) I m the janitor, (or) I m the receptionist, (or) I m the groundskeeper, (or) I m the security guard or whatever, what difference does it make? he said. We all have very important roles in this society it s not about titles. Jose explained that the nation has been inundated with national and international requests for media interviews. He said leaders have been selective about interviews on the border wall because they can t spend all their time talking about one issue and they want to be careful to work only with news organizations that will take the time to understand that the nation s swathe of the border is unique from rest of the U.S.-Mexico border. Jose recounted the history of the border, pointing out milestones such as the Gadsden Purchase the transaction that helped divide the tribal lands for the first time and the metal posts that the tribe agreed to erect in partnership with the federal government after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The barriers keep vehicles from passing through the border. Now there are three gates along the border monitored by Border Patrol agents. The gates, he said, are only for people with tribal IDs to cross.

Jose remembers sitting in meetings when the elders agreed to a vehicle barrier.

The elders were saying we will not ever support a human wall, if you want to put a vehicle barrier there it has to be environmental friendly, he said. We cannot stop the migration of the animals; we have a responsibility to every living thing in this world.”

He said every stick, every snake, stone, every rock is sacred because it is the embodiment of their ancestors. It s a grandmother, a parent, a child, he said. He spoke of the ancient ceremonies attended by tribal members on the Mexican side of the border, and the trip’s members make to visit family living south of the border.

No, this is bigger. It’s an indigenous issue; it s a human issue.

Verlon Jose, Tohono O odham Nation s vice chairman,

I never knew that I was going into a foreign country, he said of traveling with his father. I was just going across the cattle guard, open the fence and go across, and let s go to grandma s house and take them some goods or pick them up and take them to town or something like that. When people ask Jose if the border wall is a Tohono O odham issue, he says, No, this is bigger. It’s an indigenous issue; it s a human issue.

This is bigger than the United States of America. This is bigger than the Republic of Mexico. This is a world issue, and we should do everything I know we are to stop that wall from happening.

The guests cheered.

Contrasting views on the wall

In February, at a winter council session of the National Congress of American Indians, the Tohono O odham secured support from the non-profit group for the fight against the wall. The council approved a resolution opposing the wall, claiming that a continuous, physical wall on the southern border would further divide historic tribal lands and communities. But Jose and tribal leaders have been criticized by people who want the nation to take a more aggressive stance against the wall. They point to the resolution as justification for pressuring the federal government. They also worry that the resolution has a caveat, specifically stating that the wall should not move forward without the consent of affected tribes. They say the nation s future is in the hands of leaders who could change their minds and offer that consent.

Some people want the tribe to submit a petition with the United Nations, asking for support in their fight against the wall. Others want the tribe to file a lawsuit to stop the wall. Tribal members with U.S. citizenship, and those without, who live on the Mexican side of the nation have argued that Jose and other leaders are saying one thing in public, but will eventually cave to the U.S. government to prevent any loss of federal funding. They argue that over the years, with each division, physical and political, the tribe has isolated its Mexican members. Between the history, culture and policy lessons, Jose made occasional jokes, like one about people who speak with forked tongues. His guests laughed along with a man who makes a habit out of not telling border patrol agents who stop his car that he is the nation’s vice chairman, who may claim he is the local janitor and who prefers to travel with his son than an entourage.

Jose said he welcomes public criticism, adding that anyone who thinks the nation s 36,000 tribal members are unified in their opinions is naive. While the majority of O odham people oppose the wall and complain that border patrol agents unfairly target them on tribal lands, he said, there are also some members who may welcome the wall if it would stem crime tied to drug smuggling. Jose said it s his job to consider each tribal member s voice. He said dissent and debate among tribal members and leadership is healthy. But he shares many of the same concerns as frustrated tribal members. He told the group stories about border patrol agents whom he believes unfairly targeted him while he was driving.

Jose has heard from tribal members who think he is walking back his statement that he will die, before he allows a wall on the lands. He said he stands by his statement, but clarified that he was speaking as an individual and not for the O’odham government. Still, he said, the nation s government is talking about varied approaches to the long-term battle.

The chairman says let us see if we can deal with this in a diplomatic way, he said. We d rather not fight, we d rather try to work things out, but I ll tell you we have war parties. For now, the tribe is relying on political and communication strategies to fight the wall.

And if all else fails we have the major plan that we will step back to, if we do have to actually do physical opposition against that (wall) he said. But as the chairman and I always say, we have the responsibility for the well-being of our people, we would never want to put our people in harm s way and put them in the forefront.

No compromise on a physical wall

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' TRUMP BORDER WALLImpact of Donald Trump’s ‘Great, Great Wall’? | 8:42

A look at the socioeconomic and environmental impact of a 2,000-mile long wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' TRUMP BORDER WALLHere’s how much taxpayers will pay for Trump’s border wall | 0:42

It’s going to cost about two times as much as NASA’s annual budget. Video provided by Newsy Newslook

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' TRUMP BORDER WALLHow much it will cost for President Trump to build his wall | 1:31

President Donald Trump is expected to direct funds towards construction of his border wall with Mexico, but is the construction feasible? Nathan Rousseau Smith (@fantasticmrnate) investigates. Buzz60

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' TRUMP BORDER WALLHere’s what Trump’s executive orders on immigration, border wall do | 1:12

The two executive orders contain multiple provisions, including the creation of 15,000 new jobs. Video provided by Newsy Newslook

CLOSETribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language' TRUMP BORDER WALLHow executive orders work | 0:59

President Trump is wasting no time wielding his presidential pen. Here’s what you should know about executive orders. USA TODAY NETWORK

People want easy answers, he said, when there are none.

We have laws and it s recognized in our constitution based on custom and tradition but you cannot go on a computer and research that, you cannot go to the law library and find those, you would have to be taught those ways. Tribal values, he said, are taught through stories, each with its own moral. Jose said there is morality in a potential compromise: Establish security monitoring towers with the technological ability to secure the border digitally.

But there will be no compromise on a human wall, he said, referring to any form of a contiguous physical barrier that would stop Tohono O odham people from traveling on their ancestral lands.

‘To us it’s an imaginary line’

Jose said he recently met with a young documentary filmmaker who grew up in Berlin. They spoke of the failure of the Berlin Wall. He told a story about a Tohono O odham child who asked how he would visit his grandparents if a wall was built.

To us it is not a boundary; to us it s an imaginary line, he said, and maybe we re not there 100 percent, but those are our homelands, those are our aboriginal homelands, that is the root of our people and we will continue to go there. He finished the speech with a suggestion for the Caravan Against Fear.

What is the next journey? he asked. The Caravan of Hope, the Caravan of Resistance, the Caravan of We the People. After the discussion, people gathered for a meal. Jose continued to speak with a few reporters.

He said the federal government is considering a flawed border-security measure that would siphon billions of taxpayer dollars, which could be better used on education, health and other human services.

This is going to be a long haul if the federal government doesn t wise up and say you know what, we re going to waste a lot of our federal money,” he said,” (and) taxpayers of America if they don t wake up and realize $30 billion dollars of their taxpaying money is going to go to something that is not going to be 100 percent effective. To those who think he won t stand by his own morals, his own words, Jose said he wants to remind them that he was among those who went to Standing Rock to join the pipeline protest. If Trump won t compromise, Jose said he would stand by his promise and be among those who will form a physical protest at the wall.

Native people learned from Standing Rock, he said. If it comes to a fight of similar means, this time Indian tribes will be ready, he said.

READ MORE:

Tohono O’odham tribal members opposing Trump’s border wall take fight to McCain[13]

What we now know about Donald Trump’s border wall[14]

4 reasons Mexico hates President Donald Trump’s border wall[15]

‘Physically imposing’: Here are the design specs for Trump’s border wall[16]

Tribal Leader Warns Of Protest If Trump Insists On Border Wall: 'There Is No Word For Wall In Our Language'

St. Catherine’s Church in Topawa, Ariz., is cared for by the friars of San Solano Missions, which were established in 1912. (Photo: Dianna M. N ez/The Republic)

Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2phBZbU

References

  1. ^

FaceFirst’s New Airport Security Face Recognition Platform Helps Safeguard Borders

FaceFirst introduces Guardian, which uses breakthrough face recognition technology to help secure borders and airports.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 24, 2017

Facial recognition provider FaceFirst[1] today announced the launch of Guardian, a new airport security platform. Using breakthrough feature recognition capabilities, the platform identifies visitors in areas with high foot traffic and supplements the identification process for border control agents. Humans can typically recall just a few hundred faces on demand, resulting in slow customs processes, and rendering terror watch lists issued by federal and local authorities of little practical use. In comparison, Guardian compares millions of images per second, helping to identify travelers in checkpoints against a vast image database. The airport security platform[2] may also help authorities monitor the status of arriving visitors or departing passengers. FaceFirst entered the transportation security sector at Panama’s Tocumen International Airport. Panama Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino quickly declared the program a success, citing an average of 30 people per day detected with a police background or wanted by INTERPOL. The program was subsequently expanded, making it the world’s largest biometric surveillance program worldwide. Guardian identifies visitors using cameras mounted at long distances, instantly alerting airport security by email and text message as needed with critical information.

“Guardian is a huge leap forward in our ability to proactively safeguard borders and deter terrorism,” said FaceFirst CEO Peter Trepp. “The people tasked with homeland security worldwide have an incredibly difficult challenge. FaceFirst gives them the actionable intelligence they need to quickly confirm identity, expedite border crossings and prevent crime.”

Since FaceFirst’s inaugural airport deployment, the company has expanded to military bases in the U.S. and the Middle East, Fortune 500 retail locations, American law enforcement agencies and other sectors. The new platform offers significantly improved processing speed, and intelligent feature recognition from its predecessor. The product’s security features have also been enhanced.

“FaceFirst is private by design,” said Trepp. “We’ve gone to extreme lengths to ensure that biometric data is secure from both virtual and physical attacks, and the FaceFirst system is designed to prevent utilizing the platform for any type of profiling by race, age, gender or national origin.”

The company has also further automated the typically arduous task of searching through traditional surveillance video footage. The company makes it easy to search for facial matches by image or keyword, effortlessly uncovering dates, times and locations of prior visits.

ABOUT FACEFIRST

FaceFirst is creating a safer and more personalized planet with face recognition technology. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company empowers organizations to detect and deter real-time threats, transform team performance and strengthen customer relationships. FaceFirst proudly develops software in the United States that is used worldwide by retailers, airports, military bases, and other great organizations.

FaceFirst.com[3]

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14269867.htm[4]

References

  1. ^ FaceFirst (www.facefirst.com)
  2. ^ airport security platform (www.facefirst.com)
  3. ^ FaceFirst.com (Facefirst.com)
  4. ^ http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/04/prweb14269867.htm (www.prweb.com)
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