Friday, April 11, 2008

Video Featuring Arivaca Wins Award

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a link to a video called Through the Plexiglass: Immigration Today that takes a look at the absurdity of the constipated paperwork process that forms the foundation of the U.S.' broken immigration system. Congratulations to creator Will Coley, as he and the others behind the video won a $500 Breakthrough Video prize from the Movement Vision Lab for their work.

Garnering top prize for the contest was the following video that highlights the situation in Arivaca, Arizona, which lies just to the south of Latino Político Headquarters in Tucson.

Arivaca: Life on the Border

For the past couple of years, the residents of Arivaca have been putting up an admirable fight against the federal government's stubborn insistence to construct a so-called virtual border between the U.S. and Mexico. The massive towers being built will put the entire region under surveillance, but the activist residents of Arivaca are making sure that their/our rights to privacy won't die without some old-fashioned hell-raising using the truth as a bludgeon.
The vast majority of people illegally crossing the border are not criminals or "terrorists". Militarization of the border is a misguided and futile response. We need immigration and economic policy reform to address the real human issues faced by the large number of border crossers. If we can deal with immigration through humanistic policies that allow needed people to come here and work and help create opportunities in other countries, we can dramatically reduce the number of people trying to cross the border illegally. Reasonable levels of law enforcement can deal with the remaining criminality. The threat of terrorism does not necessitate the fencing and surveiling of our entire southern and northern borders.

Of course, there are substantial interests in keeping the situation like it is. There is huge money in smuggling people across the border now. So much so that drug smugglers are getting more involved. This is increasing the violence perpetrated on migrants. As we've seen, there is huge money in securing the border on this side and much of our economy is fueled by exploiting migrants for substandard wages. War is an economic engine.

We're told not to expect any significant discussion on comprehensive immigration reform until well after November's elections. The war at home on our own border needs to be addressed as much as the war in Iraq and the economy. This is an opportunity to bring the issue before the public and make it stay there.

Congratulations to the creators of the video - this will help in raising the awareness of what life is like here in the frontera lands as lawmakers who live far away dictate the growing levels of militarism in our backyards. For more information on the "Build America Together" Campaign click here.

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