Editor’s note: U.S. Rep. G. K. Butterfield issued the following statement Tuesday after receiving news that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ruled in favor of Wildin Guillen Acosta, a Durham, North Carolina high school senior from Honduras:
I am overjoyed that the BIA decided to reopen Wildin’s case, giving him an opportunity to finally be heard and have his application for asylum adjudicated. After nearly six months in detention, it’s time for Wildin to come home to Durham. To that end, I have sent a written request to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña urging that she immediately exercise her existing statutory authority to release Wildin on his own recognizance.
Although the BIA’s decision is a victory for Wildin and his family, Riverside High School, the City of Durham, and the many advocates who have been fighting on behalf of Wildin since his detainment by ICE officials in late-January, our work is not done until he returns home.
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Today, I celebrate the BIA’s decision with Wildin’s friends and family in Durham and around the country, but I will keep fighting for him until he is home where he belongs.
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield
How many more gun deaths?
A mere two weeks after the police killings of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile shocked the American public, and less than a week after the memorial service for five police officers slain by a sniper in Dallas, Baton Rouge is mourning the deaths of three officers at the hands of a lone civilian gunman.
Early last Sunday morning, officers responded to reports of an armed man at a shopping center. The man opened fire, killing three officers and wounding three more before he was killed.
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence condemns this latest in the strongest terms possible. This unspeakable violence is fueled by a culture in which guns are easy to obtain and the taking of human life has become a normalized solution to conflict. We stand with the family members and colleagues of the slain officers, and with those who were wounded and survived.
In his remarks about the shooting, President Barack Obama reminded the American people that we must not allow ourselves to be divided by the cycle of violence: “Five days ago, I traveled to Dallas for the memorial service of the officers who were slain there. I said that that killer would not be the last person who tries to make us turn on each other. Nor will today’s killer. It remains up to us to make sure that they fail. That decision is all of ours. The decision to make sure that our best selves are reflected across America, not our worst – that’s up to us.”
North Carolinians Against Gun Violence
Put rail on hold
It is time for local leaders to put a hold on the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project and ask for Plan B – a forward looking plan for transportation that connects the entire region – and that is based on accurate information about growth, demand and technology.
Low-income communities who really need public transportation are left out of the plan that serves UNC and luxury living in downtown Durham. Two weeks ago when I met with leaders of the Alston Avenue community, I got an earful on how unhappy they are about light rail. This eastern Durham community was exploited to garner support for project, and was conveniently cut out in early planning stages. So now Alston, along with NCCU, Durham Tech and most low-wealth communities in Durham and Orange won’t have public transportation – since most of the funds are going to Light Rail.
What we can agree on is the state’s Strategic Transportation funding formula does not provide the $400 million in state funds needed for the DOLRT project – and there’s growing concern about changing demand due to development throughout Chapel Hill, Chatham and Mebane. None of the new growth areas will be served by DOLRT, and there’s no money left to provide transportation where its needed.
Makes no sense to me
The proposed light rail line between Chapel Hill and Durham makes absolutely no sense to me.
Unless you live within a quarter-mile of a station and your destination is also within a quarter-mile of a station, you’re not going to use it. If you’re not fit enough, a quarter-mile may be too far. If you have many things to carry, you’re not going to use it. You’ll use your car instead.
If you do the math, that’s an exceedingly small percentage of the population that will actually use light rail. I calculate less than 1 percent.
Why are we even thinking about spending $2 billion (which I claim is an underestimate) on something that benefits so few people? I think the answer is that some heeled people have bought property along the proposed line of the light rail and need light rail to make money off of their investment.
What’s on your mind?
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