Cheered by conservative supporters, President Bush gave a push Monday to a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage as the Senate opened debate on an emotional, election-year measure that has little chance of passing.Meanwhile in the real world, a Border Patrol agent found the body of a three year old boy in the desert not because he saw him wandering around helplessly, but because he smelled the toddler's rotting, dead body while tracking the faxed-over image of the boy's mother's shoe.
I had the displeasure of being outside for abit this past weekend. It was the hottest I've felt it this year and it's only going to get worse. As I was driving with friends in Phoenix on Saturday night at 9pm it was 104 degrees. Think convection oven, because that is how the heat feels as it radiates from the concrete at all hours. I can't bitch though, all I had to do to escape was re-encase myself in the air conditioned bubble that makes life somewhat bearable here in Arizona during the summer.
Edith Rodreguez, her unnamed son and countless other desperate human beings don't have that leisure. United States policies over the past several decades have stacked the deck against them to make matters worse.
Border Patrol statistics show that while the death toll mounts annually, the number of those apprehended while crossing the border has not changed significantly since 1993. But because federal agencies have tightened the border in urban areas, smugglers who move the men, women and children seeking to enter the United States illegally have funneled them onto increasingly perilous trails where temperatures are high, water is scarce and danger is abundant.
"All the evidence is that increased enforcement on the border has achieved no benefit at all except in additional employment of Border Patrol agents," said John Fife, a Tucson pastor and founder of No More Deaths, a coalition of charities devoted to stopping deaths during desert border crossings. "What has changed is the devastating elements of this policy. You have a number of deaths that surpasses the number of American deaths in Iraq. And yet still we are determined to persist and redouble our efforts."
My forehead is morphing into a flat surface due to all the head-to-wall banging. I'm so sick of the silence. The compassion from Capitol Hill flows at the same rate as the Gila River south of Phoenix.