Religious Leaders See Grim Scene

"Alerted by 229 migrant deaths so far this year - up at least 20 percent from last year - in the Tucson sector covered by the U.S Border Patrol, Jewish and Christian leaders from around the United States traveled together from Tucson to Nogales, Mexico, for "Interfaith Border Witness" on Aug. 29. Co-convened by Dr. David Elcott, director of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee in New York, and Tucson-based Rick Ufford-Chase, moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the group wanted to highlight the need for humanitarian immigration reform." Arizona Jewish Post

Feds: Ariz. Migrant Traffic Slows

"Same song, different day," countered the Rev. Robin Hoover, founder of Humane Borders, a Tucson-based organization that places water along desert trails frequented by illegal immigrants. "Cat chasing the mouse. And pushing people to the Yuma sector is not desirable over pushing people to the Tucson sector. "What is needed is for Commissioner Bonner to come out for comprehensive immigration reform so that we can get people out of the desert in the first place." AP in San Diego Union Tribune

Bush Migrant Plan Near?

"Rev. Robin Hoover of Tucson's Humane Borders welcomed any proposal that could help reduce the number of entrants dying as they enter the United States through the deserts of the Southwest. "If they do it I'll be tickled," he said. "It sends a strong message that immigration belongs to the center and not to the left or right." Arizona Daily Star


Pima County OKs $25,000

Tucson Citizen: "Pima County supervisors voted yesterday to again support water stations that help illegal immigrants survive treks across the desert, after hearing that it costs the county more to recover and deal with bodies than to fund the lifesaving program.

It costs about $300,000 annually to recover and store the bodies of illegal immigrants who die in Pima County, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said.

The supervisors voted 4-1 to provide $25,000."


Border Deaths: Record High 415

AP in El Universal: "More than 400 people have died trying to cross the border illegally from Mexico in the last 11 months, surpassing previous records.

Of those people, 228 have died crossing through Arizona, outstripping previous annual records even before the United States federal fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

From Texas to California, a total of 415 people have perished trying to enter the United States from Mexico far higher than last year's total of 330 and surpassing the previous high mark of 383 set in 2000, said Mario Villarreal, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Washington D.C."