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Shooting Immigrants

by Abby Zimet

Immigrant rights advocates are understandably upset with recently surfaced photos showing Border Patrol agents at a "family-friendly" event teaching kids to shoot paintball guns at targets that look a whole lot like migrants - or "who the targets are for border patrol" - within 100 feet of where actual migrants have been killed. Long under scrutiny for its racist tendencies, fringe elements and use of force, the Border Patrol says its San Diego expo, which includes the annual Fallen Agents Memorial 5K Run, is meant "to create awareness about law enforcement tools," and charges that it's teaching kids to do violent things to migrants are "patently false," and anyway it's “standard” practice to use targets dressed in baggy jeans and t-shirt that happen to look just like young immigrants. Just in case, though, they took down the pictures from Facebook. Too late, says Pedro Rios of the Immigrant Rights Consortium, who charges they are "symbolic of the agency’s unabashed culture of violence."

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