The human rights group Breakthrough has just put out a stunning new video about the militarized border and the underlying politics of NAFTA and the anti-immigrant backlash. The mini-documentary also takes you into morgue housing the remains of migrants who perished on the journey north. It’s worth noting that while the Obama administration pivots toward Latino voters with deceptive promises to ease up on some deportations, the growing crisis at the border shows that unless immigration policy is reformed comprehensively, patterns of migration will grow increasingly desperate and the deaths, family separations and exploitation will go on–at the border, in detention centers, at the workplace, and in the Global South countries that U.S. economic policies continue to pauperize.
Here’s a summary of the project by Breakthrough, which has used media to raise awareness of a variety of human rights issues:
The remains of at least 6,000 migrants have been found in U.S. desert land since U.S.-Mexico border policies were implemented in the 1990s. Some groups estimate that for each set of remains recovered, those of 10 more people are lost to the harsh desert elements. Advocates and authorities attribute the escalating number of deaths not only to rising heat but also to ever-tightening border security forcing migrants into more remote and dangerous terrain. Deserted calls on viewers to recognize these deaths as a humanitarian emergency and human rights crisis.
The video includes chilling images of a morgue in Tucson, Arizona in which row after row of body bags contain human remains that may never be identified, of people whose families may never know what happened to them.
Stand with Breakthrough and recognize this human rights crisis that is taking place at our border. Watch and share this video, and take action against this human rights crisis with No More Deaths (www.nomoredeaths.org) and Coalition de Derechos Humanos (derechoshumanosaz.net).
VIDEO CREDITS: Directed, filmed and edited by Dana Variano with Ishita Srivastava; music by Denver Dalley; post-production audio by Hobo Audio. Produced by Breakthrough.
Also check out the Breakthrough media team’s report from their journey to the border with the National Border Justice and Solidarity Delegation:
And then we were at the border wall, made of recycled tanks from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, dividing the countryside in two. On one side: flood lights, border patrol, and empty desert. The other: a litter of discarded black water jugs, and empty desert. The wall now stretches across Arizona in the easiest places to cross, so that migrants are purposefully funneled into the most treacherous conditions. As a result, death counts have risen to record breaking numbers: the human remains of 183 men, women and children were recovered on the Arizona-Sonora border in the fiscal year 2006-2007 alone. And for every body discovered, there are many more not found. The most surprising thing about the wall? How it suddenly ends, leaving a gaping whole- one vast desert land- showing how imagined these “borders” are, and how American policy is literally dividing communities.