Monday, July 13, 2009

Border Conflict Intensifies in Arizona

Federal agencies are once again amping up efforts to prevent humanitarian aid from reaching undocumented border crossers in the Arizona desert. My experience (documented here) volunteering with No More Deaths enlightened me to the fact that this is the single most inhumane policy that the United States currently enforces. In its own internal documents, Border Patrol acknowledges a "death as deterrent" policy, forcing migrants to cross miles of the most arid, inhospitable land in the country without food or water.

The antagonistic relationship between federal agencies and humanitarian workers has intensified recently as US Fish and Wildlife has begun issuing citations to volunteers for "littering" on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers on news reels are actually shown picking up litter while dropping off bottles of water. Water and Food is not litter; it is aid.

Two points:

1- Bureaucracy is a self-feeding organism that seeks to stifle change in order to maintain the status quo that was the rationale for its creation. Border patrol and militaristic enforcement are failed policies killing thousands of people and costing taxpayers millions, but they are money-making policies for certain branches of the power structure.

2- The American Dream isn't dead just because "we" are already here. These people have just as much right to self-fulfillment and the pursuit of happiness as "we" do. More to the point, even if you believe we should put a wall between our countries, you cannot advocate a policy that knowingly allows people to die.

Having been there, this gets me all riled up. The closing segment of the news broadcast (linked below) shows Reverend John Fife pleading with federal officers not to take away the bottles of water.

"People are dying out here because the government has refused humanitarian aid organizations to put water and food and emergency medical care out here. In my language, as a pastor, that’s a sin," he says.

Some excellent resources on this situation have popped up recently including this article The Activist Question in the Tucson Weekly by Tim Vanderpool and this news report on KOLD News.


  1. Wow! Powerful stuff. The ironic thing about this is that our top 4-5 poultry and farming companies actually RECRUIT in Mexico and promise these people their "American Dream." If they ever survive the perilous journey across the Sonora desert, companies like Tyson and Purdue turn over up to 15 "undocumented" workers each month to keep the Federal raids away from their factories! Kind of makes you wonder what is in the fridge and pantry of all the employees of the border patrol and other federal agencies...

  2. Personally, I'm convinced that in ten years, "Americans" will be the "Mexicans" trying to sneak over the border to Canada....or maybe that's just me...


Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.
- Oscar Wilde


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