At the U.S. Border, the Desert Takes a Rising Toll

I believe many people don’t take into consideration the extreme sacrifice of those who migrate illegally to the United States from Mexico in search of jobs. Many act as if they just take a stroll down the street and there they are in the US. They look around and go to the nearest business asking for a job and in a matter of minutes they’re working.

This is not the case at all. There is much fear and sacrifice that goes into a journey such as this. More sacrifice than most of us US citizens are willing to make on any giving day. This is why I find it ludicrous to call them “leaches” or claim they just stroll across the border to “pop out babies” so they can become citizens.

At the U.S. Border, the Desert Takes a Rising Toll (NY Times)
Published: September 15, 2007
The number of migrants dying while trying to cross the desert border into Pima County, Ariz., is on pace this year to set a record.

–SASABE, Ariz. — “I can’t breathe,” Felicitas Martínez Barradas gasped to her cousin as they stumbled across the border in 100-degree heat. “The sun is killing me.”

Kelly Kirby, a Border Patrol agent, walking to the site where he found Ms. Martínez’s body.
They had been walking for a day and a half through the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona, the purgatory that countless illegal immigrants pass through on their way from Mexico to the United States.

Ms. Martínez was 29 and not fit. A smuggler handed her a can of carbonated energy drink and caffeine pills. But she only got sicker and passed out, said her cousin, Julio Díaz.

There, near a mesquite tree a little over 10 miles from the border, Ms. Martínez died, her eyes open to the starry sky, her arms across her chest and Mr. Díaz, 17, at her side.

Gone was her dream of making enough money in the United States for a house for her four young children in Mexico.

“She was very set in her ways,” said a sister in Mexico, Ely, who had tried to persuade Ms. Martínez not to leave. “Once she decided to do something, there was no stopping her.”

The Border Patrol has reported a large drop in the number of illegal immigrants apprehended at the border with Mexico this year, the consequence, the agency says, of additional agents and the presence of National Guard troops. Yet the number of migrants dying while trying to cross here in Pima County is on pace to set a record, according to the county medical examiner.

Story Continued – “At the U.S. Border, the Desert Takes a Rising Toll”


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