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.
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.