12 Years, 4,000 Dead

Daniel Gonzalez reports in the Arizona Republic:
In a little while, Enrique Morones would plant the white cross into the ground, a symbolic gesture in memory of the estimated 4,000 migrants who have died crossing the U.S.-Mexican border in the past 12 years.

But for the moment, Morones leaned on the cross like it was a cane, already looking weary though his cross-country journey had just begun.


Chertoff Short Sighted

From an editorial in the U.C.-Irvine student newspaper: Rhetoric aside, Humane Borders is correct to point out that the aborted program might well have saved countless lives. Chertoff’s dismissal of the program as nothing more than a badly conceived attempt to salve our country’s illegal immigration problems, “sin” or not, is short-sighted at the very least.

Pull Yer Boots On

Linda Valdez writes in an Arizona Republic op-ed:
"Both George W. Bush and Gutiérrez's boss, Mexican President Vicente Fox, are ineligible to run for re-election. When they were newer presidents, these two rancher politicians vowed to work together to wrangle a guest-worker program.

Then came Sept. 11, 2001. Legitimate U.S. concerns about terrorism stalled immigration reform, which is ironic because getting control of the border would serve national security.

Now, immigration reform is likely to become what Gutiérrez calls a "political piñata" in this year's Mexican presidential election and in the U.S. midterm elections.

Imagine what could happen if two lame ducks pulled on their cowboy boots and stomped out a legacy.

More From Sundance

There's a review of the Sundance Film Festival in Indian Country Today by Brenda Norrell that inlcludes this: "Tohono O'odham Mike Wilson was also featured in a film at Sundance: Joseph Mathew's documentary, ''Crossing Arizona.'' The film examines both sides of the immigration debate in Arizona and the failings of U.S. immigration policy."

Bush Reaction

Mike Madden of the Arizona Republic covers the new Bush border clampdown. All sides get their shot. Including us.
"Activists and analysts said Bush's proposal could slow, but would not stop, illegal immigration.

"Since 1993, we've tripled the number of agents and we've multiplied the amount of technology, and we've not reduced the number of people who are coming by one person," said the Rev. Robin Hoover, president of Humane Borders, a Tucson group that provides water stations in the desert.


The Ethical Way

HB President Robin Hoover interviewed in the Chicago Tribune: "This is the ethical way to deal with this issue," Hoover said. "Many immigrants don't have any information. People [smugglers] are lying to them. If we can give them the information in the sending communities, they could make an informed decision whether to come or not."

It's Humanitarian

HB vice president Paul Fuschini, interviewed by ABC News: "We're just trying to save lives. That's what we are, a faith-based group," said Paul Fuschini, vice president of Humane Borders. "This is a humanitarian effort."

C'mon, Mr. Secretary

Linda Valdez, who went with us to Mexico, writing in an Arizona Republic op-ed:
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff condemned Mexico's plan to distribute the maps, which were produced by the Tucson-based group Humane Borders. He said they could "encourage illegal immigration."

C'mon, Mr. Secretary.

What encourages illegal immigration is the availability of jobs in the United States. These jobs offer such hope to poor people that they have found a way around, under or through every one of the enforcement strategies the U.S. government has tried. These strategies have pushed illegal immigrants into tough, desert terrain where hundreds of them die each year.

Violent Discourse

Christian Ramirez, director of the American Friends Service Commitee in San Diego, interviewed by Pacific News Service. "In 2004, the mainstream media began covering border issues, and the language turned to "broken border" "alien invasion." We began to see a very violent discourse, a justified use of violence. "