Thursday, June 21, 2007

Border militarization raises migrant deaths again

Failed US border policy kills people

TUCSON -- Since the start of the fiscal year, which began on October 1, 2006, through the end of May, 2007, at least 114 bodies have been recovered on the Arizona/Sonora border, an increase from 99 at the same time last year. These numbers do not reflect the discovery of six bodies in early June, the seven bodies found this past weekend, nor those reported by recent crossers/survivors.

This news comes as Congress is embroiled in a one-sided discussion of “immigration reform” guaranteeing a multibillion dollar appropriation for “security” measures, despite the brutal reality at the border. Since 2000, Derechos Humanos has documented more than 1,335 bodies recovered just on the Arizona/Sonora border, while all studies indicate that the actual numbers of individuals entering the country have remained relatively the same.

“It is a sad reality that the majority in this country have come to mistakenly link “national security” to migration on our Southern border,” states Kat Rodriguez of Derechos Humanos. “The complete absence of any real dialogue on the impact of the over $30 billion already spent on enforcement along the U.S.-México border is simply indefensible, particularly given the long history of our economic dependence on migrant workers. Even more egregious is Congress’ refusal to address the root causes of this migration, other than to pursue trade agreements that they know will increase migration and death.”

Militarization strategies and enforcement policies have failed to reduce migration, yet politicians and officials continue to push for increases of expenditures for enforcement, lining the pockets of defense and private prison corporations while the numbers of human rights abuses and deaths continue to rise. The current political climate, which fails to create a space for vital discussion, has resulted in a xenophobic atmosphere, and has pulled focus from the human rights crisis that is seen daily on the southern border.

Continued Rodriguez, “It is time for our country to halt the knee-jerk anti-immigrant hysteria and engage in a real national dialogue on immigration, otherwise we will continue to see deaths and destruction of our way of life along the border.”

The complete list of recovered bodies is available on the Coalición de Derechos Humanos website: This information is available to anyone who requests it from us and is used by our organization to further raise awareness of the human rights crisis we are facing on our borders.

- from CDH

1 comment:

Erin Klee said...

Hi Daniel,

This is a compelling article; thanks for reposting it.

I've read through several of your posts now and appreciate your perpective on immigration issues. I'll keep reading... and I'll be back to check for updates sometime soon.

~ Erin :)