At about 11:30 AM on Sunday, February 19, members of the Border Patrol arrested Maryknoll priest and SOA Watch founder Roy Bourgeois, and Nico Udu-Gama, SOA Watch staff member, after they participated in a non-violent action protest by the border fence located in Anapra. Accompanied by over 100 participants, Father Roy and Nico spoke eloquently about foreign policies that oppress the poor in Mexico, subjecting them to unprecedented levels of violence and then denying them the relief of seeking protection in the United States or legal entry so as to be able to work and earn their daily bread.
After speaking to the crowd that accompanied them, Father Roy and Nico Udu-Gama walked across the international boundary line and entered Mexico. After speaking with some of the people on the Mexican side of the border, Father Roy and Nico Udu-Gama crossed back into the United States, and in so doing, violated US federal
law. At the end of the action/protest, Border Patrol agents moved in and arrested Father Roy and Nico Udu-Gama and charged them with Entry Without Inspection (EWI), which is the standard charge that immigrants face when entering the US without documents. The two were searched, placed in Border Patrol vehicles, and driven to to a Border Patrol sub-station, where they were questioned. After ascertaining that they were US citizens, the charges were dropped and Roy and Nico were released.
In 2008, Father Roy was presented with Annunciation House’s Voice of the Voiceless Award for his advocacy and witness on behalf of immigrants, the countless who have been forced to flee because of the violence in their home country.
The Diario published covered this action/protest in a Spanish-language article, available here.