Archive for August, 2011

Call It a Crisis: Confronting Public Health Risks on the U.S.-Mexico Border – Rachel Stonecipher & Sarah Willen

August 26, 2011 1 comment

     Rachel Stonecipher (SMU) & Sarah S. Willen (University of Connecticut)

You wouldn’t know it from the U.S. national media, but a multi-dimensional public health crisis is unfolding on the U.S.-Mexico border that few seem ready to acknowledge.

The complexity of this crisis – about which we know little since the affected group is a moving target, and a controversial one at that – came to light during a recent study tour to Tucson, Arizona, sponsored by the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in winter 2011 in which one of us [RS, an SMU undergraduate] had the privilege of taking part. The group spent two weeks meeting with leaders and officials in local law enforcement, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, and various humanitarian organizations active on the U.S. and Mexican sides of the border. These encounters revealed reports of violence and neglect throughout the migration process that signal a complex, cross-border health crisis far too vast for activists to address alone.

Migrant deaths in the border region. (Map: Humane Borders, 2010)

Read more…

News Round Up In-Brief

U.S. News

  • The Obama administration made a statement last week that it will focus its deportation efforts on those who represent “the greatest harm” to the US such as criminals. The implication is that enforcement will not focus on low priority populations such as otherwise law-abiding immigrants who came to the US as children and immigrants serving in the military. Immigrant advocates and enforcement advocates debate the meaning of the new statement. Read about it here, here, and here.
  • Church leaders in Alabama sue the state over its new immigration law. The suit claims that the law criminalizes parts of Christian ministry such as performing weddings and funerals for illegal immigrants, giving them rides, or inviting them to church services. This suit joins other legal challenges to the law from civil rights groups, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Justice Department.
  • A little known component of U.S. border enforcement—the practice of U.S. Border Patrol Agents inspecting buses and asking for papers from people crossing the border into Mexico—may have unintended consequences. Read more…

News Round Up In-Brief

US News