Friday, April 13, 2012

Immigration is a human right & should not be punishable by death

News of undocumented immigrants is frequent on the US-Mexican border. Many are arrested as they’re transported in over-packed vehicles by human smugglers called coyotes; many are arrested in “stash houses” (way stations on their trip) sometimes malnourished & dehydrated. All those detained will be processed & deported; many will attempt again to cross the border river. One local TV station has an extremely right-wing attitude toward what it calls “illegal aliens” with special alarmist reports on al-Qaeda crossing here & functioning more to police the border, less like a news agency. They’re reporting now on a van accident where nine undocumented immigrants were killed & six taken to hospital. No details of the accident are forthcoming & the report was so slippery, it was clear they were providing cover for border patrol misconduct. At a roadside memorial to honor the victims I met several people. One woman told me there was scant more coverage on Spanish language TV but they did report the accident was caused by a reckless car chase by the border patrol who pulled in front of the van on the frontage road of an expressway. To avoid collision, the driver veered & hit a pole causing a rollover. According to a witness, bodies flew out of the overcrowded van “like popcorn”. There are no reports on those who died or the conditions of the injured. Who were they, where were they from, how old were they, how many men, women, children? Today the right-wing TV station--acting again as an immigration enforcement agency--continues to ignore the victims & is all about immigration agents & the border patrol hunting down the network of human smugglers to make somebody pay for the crimes of US immigration policy & over-aggressive border patrol. This photo is of the scene of the accident/crime where people have set up a memorial to honor those who died trying to make a better life for themselves & their families. May they RIP. Immigration is a human right & it should not be punishable by death. May we continue to oppose US-Mexico immigration policy & demand that immigration be recognized as a human right.

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