border studies – undocumented aliens


Back in Montezuma, N.M. after 10 days on the road with 18 UWC-USA students, faculty chaperones, and Broadus, 8.5 years, a great traveler, interested in everything. In place of a Spring Break, students at UWC elect a service-learning adventure. This one was to study border issues, especially as they pertain to Mexican illegal immigration. We worked with community and human rights groups – faith based and otherwise – working along the US-Mexican border.

Humane Borders and No Mas Muertes put out markers and water in the Arizona desert for the migrants trying to cross over. The Border Patrol, and the Arizona state and county governments, as well as all mainstream denominations support their efforts, financially and otherwise, hoping to avoid a much larger humanitarian crisis along the border. There have been 1600 migrant deaths in the fifty miles of Arizona desert between Tuscan and Nogales since 2005. The work of Humane Borders is to prevent as many deaths as they can with the resources they have.

We camped out on a lot of church floors on both sides of the border. No county morgue trip this year but we did visit the federal courthouse, the Border Patrol Museum and talked with members of the Border Patrol. We visited a Mexican orphanage and C.R.E.E.D.A., an amazing addict-run treatment center for Mexican alcoholics and addicts, some of them former coyotes. The students carried out a number of tasks and chores at all of these locations. They also staffed a center for deported migrants returning from the US.

Many of the migrants are from southern Mexico, many from other Central American countries. The migrants have to be wary of the coyotes they hire to take them across the border and fifty miles of desert on the US side. The majority of women taken through the desert are raped either by their coyotes or by bands of robbers the coyote is in league with who wait in the desert. If the migrants are apprehended and deported, in Mexican border towns they are easy prey to predators waiting to take advantage of their ignorance. The Migrant Centers work to shield and counsel returnees.

I’ll be sorting out my own views of the issues in the days to come but I can say now that my sympathy is with the underdog. It isn’t that complicated a question. All it would take to resolve the problem humanely would be some genuine concern from the governments of the US and of Mexico for the well-being of its citizens.

Thanks to all who have left comments while I have been away! I’ll be posting responses and photos as I recenter here in NM.

This entry was posted in 'tis a gift to be simple, art, awakening, callings, despair, faith, grassroots leadership, hope, illegal immigration, immigration issues, love, mexican border, poetry, politics, stories, undocumented aliens, uwc-usa, wake up dude. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to border studies – undocumented aliens

  1. janetleigh says:

    The solution would seem so simple – to do what’s humane. To believe that either government cares about the “little people” is what’s holding things up. I think We the People need to educate ourselves about the elites in the world, how they think and what’s important to them. A little exercise I like to carry out on a yearly basis is to just imagine myself sitting in the Oval Office in the president’s chair and imagine what would fly into my In box and how high the documents would grow. Same thing with the Out box. I imagine what sort of issues will cross this great desk and what kind of people will come into the Oval Office with their spiel. I will think of how many functions I’ll have to attend this week and who I’ll be meeting with. Will we be talking business about the world condition, or will we be schmoozing and doing small talk thinking we’ll get to the important stuff later – time which never materializes. I try to imagine whether I get straight up news from my aides or whether they have their own agendas they are aiming to put in place. Do I deal in an honest environment or am I fed lies every day. Am I getting the real news or invented news?

    This is just a smattering of thoughts that I start out with, but the ideas and scenarios keep flowing in and I start to look at things a little differently. I start to think of what is reasonable in such an environment and what things are delegated to those under me who either carry out my orders or say they do but don’t, installing their own agendas. I worry that the top echelon of government is too busy to read newspapers or watch a lot of TV, so where is their news coming from? Do they have a realistic view of the world? Is it even possible at that level of responsibility?

    I usually wrap up this exercise thinking that for the most part the elite deal in a different world than we do. Their concerns are not our concerns. In Today’s world, we are the enemies of gov. Gov is in the process of putting together laws and policies to deal with homegrown “terrahists” (captcha word) and the 3 different kinds they will see us as; we have a lot of ‘rogue’ in high office that are doing things without oversight. I truly believe the border situation is the least of their worries at this time and will put any tough decision off until later. The closest they come to seeing or understanding the situation at the border is from a map stretched across a desk.

    I can’t believe I’ve written all this, Rick. Please delete what you want, the entire post if you’d like. The whole situation frustrates me to no end and I’m just sharing some thoughts with you, is all. Thanks for indulging me. Maybe there’s something in here you can use. Maybe there’s a poem in here somewhere. Maybe I need some rest. Wishing you a great day!


  2. Pingback: Meet the Weebles « Stop & Wander

  3. rick mobbs says:

    I have to beg a thousand pardons, because I did not see your marvelous post until today. I am in agreement with all of your thoughts… and I hope you will write that poem and provide us with a link to it. I wish the big-shots would try your thought exercise

    and to you, weeblemeister (weeblemistress?), I love your writing and feel honored by the distinction. Thanks for pointing my way and welcoming me to true weeblehood.


  4. callie guerin says:

    Hi is this Rick Mobbs from winchester?


  5. I am tired of reading and seeing reactions to the government’s treatment of illegal aliens. Can’t everyone see that letting the ones who allowed the problem to develop are by definition exactly the ones who are unable to fix it?
    The SBINet is a glaring example. $10B contract award to a company that makes airplanes?? How is this possible? And, OBTW, we are seeing tangible evidence that this won’t work and after throwing money on the problem, making the travesty to taxpayers many more $B than originally awarded, we will be ten years downstream with only a bigger problem to solve.
    We need to find a solution that is actionable and addresses the circumstances as they presently exist. Such as a national identity card that all recognized countries honor and any individual can get one wherever he or she is at any point in time.
    This end-to-end actionable and feasible solution is put forward in Trigon-International, Inc’s commission report, “Immigration in America — What’s to Be Done?” Check it out.


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