Journalist with local ties details work at southern border

Photo by Jim McKeever of border wall in Tijuana showing names of deported military veterans. (contributed)

Journalist with local ties details work at southern border

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

RICHFIELD SPRINGS — Jim McKeever, an independent journalist, spoke about his experience volunteering at the southern border to a small group at the Richfield Springs Food Coop on Friday, Oct. 15.

McKeever, who went to the border in Texas and Tijuana, among other places, spoke of the Kafkaesque process asylum seekers needed to go through in order to enter the United States.

Asylum is non-existent right now,” McKeever said, who volunteered at shelters and legal rights organizations, trying to prepare migrants for asylum, as well as doing water drops in the desert. “Asylum approval rates are horrible.”

McKeever said there is a “90% to 95%” chance of rejection for asylum seekers, but those seeking asylum are in desperate and dangerous situations.

According to McKeever’s wordpress page, he is a professional journalist who has more than 30 years as a newspaper reporter and uses his skills to advocate for the oppressed.

McKeever told the story of a Guatemalan woman who was assaulted and raped twice and had to pay extortion to a gang until she couldn’t paid anymore. Then, she was threatened to be raped and killed if she didn’t pay extortion, which prompted her to seek asylum.

Gangs are the de facto government,” McKeever said. “Violence and fear are part of their everyday lives. These are good people who need our help.”

McKeever said attitudes toward immigrants have gotten worse in the past decade, but that has also spurred him to continue his missions.

It’s infuriating here in Central New York, which has its own cruelty,” McKeever said.

He said after he went on a recent trip, he linked up with the Border Angels, a non-profit group which does advocacy at the border including education, water drops and day laborer outreach.

McKeever said ICE agents treated border volunteers with “polite disdain.”

Humanity has been completely erased from most of them,” McKeever said. “Migrants are a revenue stream, not human beings. They keep our family fed.”

McKeever admitted he wouldn’t want to do the job of a border agent.

Migrants are disposable,” McKeever said. “There are probably people I met in 2019 who are still there. They might be dead tomorrow.”

McKeever passed around a picture of a huge parking area which used to have street vendors but now thousands of migrants are living in tents together.

“There’s no space,” McKeever said. “They are just sitting there waiting for the asylum process to happen.”

One thought on “Journalist with local ties details work at southern border

  1. Mary Van valkenburg

    So many people in America claim to care deeply about life. The lives of children, babies, fetuses, embryos. But if they don’t also care about the lives of refugees, they are liars and hypocrites, but they will never admit it. They really don’t care about the lives of others. “Not my problem,” they say to me. It disgusts me.

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