Friday, September 08, 2006

Deadly Week in the Sonoran Desert

Although this time, it happened within the Tucson metropolitan area.
A 13-year-old boy has become the second person to die from injuries sustained this morning in an SUV rollover on the Tohono O'odham Nation as the driver fled a U.S. Border Patrol agent and Tohono O'odham police, border patrol spokesmen said.

The boy died at a hospital some time after the crash on South Mission Road near West Valencia Road, said Senior Border Patrol Agent Jim Hawkins.

The crash also injured three woman and three men, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jesus Rodriguez said earlier today.

A couple of thoughts on this. First, the Border Patrol started pursuing the vehicle because it was previously reported stolen. Not surprising with the ridiculous network of coyotes working to evade the growing military force in this area. The traffickers are greedy, viscous characters that couldn't give two shits for the people that desperately save money to pay the fees to get across safely.

About those desperate people - no one prominent in this country has given them a voice in situations like this where death occurs as a direct result from Border Patrol actions. It's automatically accepted by the vast majority of U.S. citizens that the Border Patrol are "heroes" and blameless.

Well, let's look at another incident from last month that happened near Yuma.
An apparent immigrant smuggling attempt turned fatal north of Yuma Monday morning, killing nine suspected illegal immigrants and injuring 13 other illegal aliens who were all packed inside an SUV while fleeing from agents.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said a Chevrolet Suburban holding as many as 22 suspected illegal immigrants rolled over around 6:30 a.m. on Martinez Lake Road after the vehicle swerved to avoid spike strips deployed by the agents to slow the Suburban.

Twenty-two people in a Surburban - can you imagine? I can't.

That's just a taste of what's to come as more troops and BP agents are deployed across the region without comprehensive immigration reform. There is no action on economic stability for the countries south of the line, no accountability for the questionable tactics of military forces, and certainly no support for humane treatment of people willing to make the trek through the desert.

I don't pretend to be fair and balanced like the BushCo proxies at Faux News. I'm aware that the articles I snip and commentary I share are coming at it from one direction. Here's why - these people deserve the dignity of a voice at the table. They are victims, like us, of global economic policies that are destroying the middle and lower classes' ability to survive and thrive.

This week, the Republican-led Congress will continue their window-dressing act by trying to pass a few border-related provisions to appease their xenophobic base before the coming elections - giving zero focus to comprehensive reform. I hope more and more people will see it for the 'smoke and mirror' effort that it is, and realize that the deplorable actions by empty suits and pearls far away from the border are affecting those of us who are near the line.

There is also the promise of continued fatalities, as described above, which should make anyone with a functioning human heart in their chest cringe. Something's gonna give eventually, and that something won't involve walls or more troops. Bet on it.

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