Borderlands

BORDERLANDS LETTER: Racism and internment camps, then and now

Hi Folks,

I went to Phoenix today to join hundreds of other concerned citizens protesting the signing of SB1070, the unjust and racist immigration legislation by Gov. Brewer.  It is hard to believe the Arizona legislature chose this path.  I held a sign [displaying] "I WILL NOT COMPLY.”  This states clearly that I will not comply [with] the call to turn in my neighbor or any other person I might know who I think might be undocumented.  The impact of this legislation on the Hispanic community in southern AZ and all over AZ is enormous.  Racial profiling is already a big problem here and now this legislation will heighten the tension and fear felt here in Tucson (especially after 800 [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents raided South Tucson a few weeks ago—some wearing ski masks, all armed.)

BORDERLANDS LETTER: “No one should die for the lack of a cup of water”

Hello Everyone,

I just got back from spending the weekend at the No More Deaths desert camp.  Wow, the desert is an endless expanse of beauty—mountains, rock formations, cactus, birds, animals, a lot of cows, dry riverbeds, and right now green trees and other vegetation.  It is hard…to know that people may be dying in the same moments you are taking in the beauty of God's creation…

BORDERLANDS: CPT reservist and other volunteers leaving water for migrants face littering charges.

Tucson, Arizona On 1 June 2009, CPT Reservist John Heid and two other companions placed three-dozen gallons of water on an active migrant trail in Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR), southwest of Tucson, Arizona.  The three were confronted by a Fish and Wildlife officer, escorted out of the area, and face possible prosecution for littering.  

BORDERLANDS: A Holy Week with immigrants

Maundy Thursday
Over 500 pilgrims had just completed an eight-mile journey through Cobb County, home of some of Georgia's most vitriolic anti-immigrant residents, and it was time to engage in the subversive ritual of foot washing; an act of holy resistance to the dehumanizing dynamics of this world.

Six unauthorized immigrants sat on a stage while six United States citizens stooped down and washed their feet.

BORDERLANDS: God will change the politicians’ hearts


We were on the fifth day of the Pilgrimage for Immigrants, 5-10 April 2009, in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia.  I was having lunch with Joaquin, a U.S. citizen of Mexican descent.  He has been here for twenty years, and lives in the Atlanta area with his wife and four children.  She is Hispanic, a fourth generation American, and their children are all citizens by birth.  Interestingly, he said that English is the first language of his children, although they are all bilingual.  Work is slow these days, and he took the day off for the pilgrimage.  His reason?  To support change in immigration policy so families will not be broken up.  When asked how that could happen, he said, “Politicians do not want to change, but we are praying to God, and God can change the politicians’ hearts.”

U.S./MEXICO BORDERLANDS: Tearing down walls and building community

by Heather Brady

Sorrow and pain are at home here in the desolate landscape of the Arizona desert. Along the borderlands, our Christian Peacemaker Teams delegation walks in the footsteps of the thousands of migrants who make the dangerous journey northward.

Standing still, I close my eyes and feel the burning sun upon my bare skin.
I imagine what it means to be a migrant, to leave everything and everyone you know and love in order to provide for them, to spend days and weeks running and hiding, feet blistered and bloody. Desperate for water, your tongue grows thick with thirst. Cactus thorns stab you as you run blindly through the darkness, struggling to stay with the group.

We hear the story of Josseline Quinteros, a fourteen-year-old girl from El Salvador. Separated from her group, she would wander lost and alone for weeks before eventually laying down, never to get up again.

U.S./ MEXICO: CPT announces delegation to U.S./Mexico Borderlands, 27 May-5 June 2008

Members of CPT's Borderlands delegation will monitor human rights, meet with representatives of human rights groups and government officials, and carry out a nonviolent public witness confronting unjust immigration policies.

ARIZONA/SONORA BORDERLANDS: The subversive handshake

"Excuse me," the young Border Patrol agent interjected, "but did you give or receive anything through the fence?"

"Yes," and then pausing I replied, "I gave and received a handshake."

"Well, my supervisor would like to speak with you. You'll have to wait right here."

"Right here" was alongside the segregation wall of exploitation and fear built by my government. As I waited, I reflected on what had happened just before this fraternal act.