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November 20, 2006

ISSUE: The Border

It’s pretty easy to not notice immigration-related issues when you are thousands of miles from the border, even though these complex issues affect us all. Tucson, however, is infused with border-related phenomena. Though most of these issues stem from “free” trade madness like NAFTA, it was amazing to learn about the local manifestations of the border… like the sound of border patrol choppers overhead each night, beaming their search lights through the city. Craziness.

Here are a few more:

Each year, thousands of migrants walk toward “el norte” and the dream of earning money to support families. And each year, hundreds die in the harsh desert. A few groups, like “No Mas Muertes/No More Deaths” provide humanitarian aide to migrants, offering them food, water and medical support on the Mexican side.

When I visited the No Mas Muertes tent in Nogales, MX, a busload of men who had been deported were just dropped off.

Hector told me that he was in good spirits, excited for the adventure and feeling confident with Jesus on his side. He was heading north to find work…

And after some food and water, the men headed back to try again. Until we stop exploiting cheap labor in Mexico, people will head to the U.S. to try to find living wages.

Another terrible side effect of the border is that is has split many indigenous nations in half. Mel and Otis are from the Tohono O’odham Nation, and now they have to show passports and deal with plenty of other inconveniences and even Border Patrol harassment to move within their own tribal lands.

1 comment:

Leon said...

I love the border region. Its a great zone of cultural mixing - one that every high school student should be exposed to (instead of Washington DC...) And, a beautiful place to my eyes.

I am most upset that our "national strategy" is to build a wall across Southern Arizona. A desert is the ultimate geographic barrier - walls are chump gestures that hold great symbolism but hold back little. Theres no way a wall can hold up for long the inequalities between global north and global south.

thanks for sharing with us this amazing place!