Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Border Deaths and Immigration Reform

I am committed to publicizing and helping to resolve migrant death along the U.S. Mexico border. I believe migrant death to be, by far, the most egregious symptom of a failed border policy, of failed border security and a devastatingly broken immigration system.  The "country of immigrants" must find a way to import necessary labor in the same manner it imports commerce - safely and humanely.  I believe the ever-increasing death toll along the border to be the most systematic violation of human rights occurring in the U.S. today.  Regardless of whether migrants should or should not be crossing illegally the fact remains that they are coming in mass numbers and deliberately forced over deserts, mountains and dangerous canals to fill the labor demand in the U.S. These deaths are preventable and should not be considered collateral damage. Governments as well as human/civil rights organizations must work together to end human suffering regardless of circumstance or repercussion.

I am optimistic we will achieve immigration reform.  My concern is human rights will not be the driving force that shapes new legislation.  Unfortunately, politics, profit and even racism will inform debates and thus subsequent policies.  My hope is that grass roots organizations, individuals and The 800 Mile Wall will contribute to the importance of recognizing humanity at the center of all laws.  Honoring the immigrant and respecting the dignity of all people must be central to immigration reform.  John F. Kennedy writes, "Immigration policy should be generous, it should be fair and it should be flexible."  It is my belief that the core values of American society are founded on such principles and we need to be reminded of them when tackling the monumental task of immigration reform.  If we, as a nation, achieve some form of success with respect to immigration reform and migrants continue to die in mass numbers at the border, I believe the process will have been a complete failure. 

 I will do whatever I can to make sure my brothers and sisters in blood and by proxy do not continue to endure unspeakable suffering and death in an attempt to feed their families.  I invite any opportunity to partner with individuals and groups to mitigate border death and achieve humane immigration reform. 

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