In Tijuana, family members visit through a border fence. The U.S. Border Patrol permits this for only a few hours on weekends. Since 1982, the number of Border Patrol agents has increased five-fold, a new fence has gone up, and deportations have reached record levels, separating families. (above)
Poverty and violence are the causes of much migration. In the Rosarito colonia in the hills above Nogales, Mexico, parts of a home are made from cardboard. Old bedsprings serve as a fence. Residents must carry drinking water from the city below. Jobs in multinational-owned maquiladoras pay miserable wages.
Things often end badly for migrants. At Baylor University, in Waco, Texas, forensic anthropologist Dr. Lori Baker identifies human remains found in Texas. At least 6,000 people have died crossing the border since 2000. Many are never identified.
Those who die are not forgotten. In southeastern Arizona, the School Sisters of Notre Dame plant crosses at sites where bodies were found. At the border fence in Nogales, Arizona, the School of the Americas Watch held a candlelight vigil as part of its border encuentro in October. The group has long protested the role of the U.S. military’s Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, Georgia, in training Latin American military officers, some of whom return home to torture or murder their own citizens. This year, SOA Watch focused on the increasingly militarized border and the role of U.S. foreign policy in driving the flow of migrants.
Participants march through the U.S. Border Patrol’s checkpoint about twenty miles north of Nogales, Arizona, on Interstate 19, where motorists are asked about their citizenship. The marchers called for an end to all interior checkpoints.