The obsession of U.S. politicians to “increase security at the border” has resulted in an unprecedented rise in the dangers to people crossing the border without authorization. In this sense, the notion of “security” at the heart of the legislative discussion on immigration reform in the United States is at odds with the safety of human beings.
Migrant border deaths are at an all-time high in the state of Texas according to a new report. Over the past two decades thousands of men, women, and children have died attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Even as the number of migrants crossing the border falls, members of the U.S. Congress are pushing for an increase in border “security”, pouring more and more public money into the very enforcement policies that produce the deaths.
I read the statistics before joining 16 School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) activists on our first trip to the U.S.-Mexico border–before I followed Steve into the Sonora desert to drop off water jugs on migrant trails, before I watched Olga call her coyote to make sure he’d delivered her son safely, before I conversed with Pedro and tried not to stare at his missing leg – severed by The Beast, the deadly train that migrants hop to travel through Mexico. Before I stood at the wall with Jose Antonio’s mother and wondered why the Border Patrol pumped so many bullets into his young body as he walked along a street in his own city, on the Mexican side.