Seth M. Holmes
University of California, Berkeley
The U.S. Senate’s recent agreement – to increase the size of the Border Patrol by 20,000 agents, add 700 miles of fence, and deploy $3.2 billion in military equipment – may lead to an increase in deaths in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands if current policies continue. Most media coverage, however, has failed to mention that Border Patrol policies and actions directly contribute to these fatalities.
One recent example is an article titled, “In 30 days, Border Patrol rescues 177 people from Arizona desert,” published last month in the Los Angeles Times. The article noted that although fewer people are crossing the border overall, death rates are at an all-time high in the southern Arizona desert. It blamed the spike in fatalities on the fact that migrants are increasingly crossing the border at its most treacherous and remote points. Yet the article failed to point out that Border Patrol policies have contributed to these deaths by deliberately re-routing migrants to cross in regions so perilous that Border Patrol officials themselves have referred to them as “the corridor of death” (Doty 2011). Read more…
- Despite controversy, the humanitarian group, “No More Deaths,” continues to leave gallon jugs of water in the desert for migrants crossing into the United States from Mexico.
- In recent speech about the housing market and economy, President Obama again asserted his support for new immigration legislation.
- Immunization clinics in Queens and the Bronx are scheduled to close later this month. The closures will harm low-income people and immigrants, according to union representing public health nurses.
- In Chicago, protesters gathered at a hospital to object to undocumented immigrants’ lack of access to organ transplants. Read more…