Temperatures are still in the high nineties here in Arizona as the fiscal year (as counted by the Government) comes to a close.
In the year ending September 30, 2004, there were 231 migrants who died trying to get across the border here in Arizona. This year, in spite of huge effort by both church workers and the efforts of the Search and Rescue team of the Border Patrol, 261 people lost their lives here in Arizona. 460 paid with their lives for crossing all along the U.S./Mexico border. That makes this the tenth year in a row that the number of border related deaths has climbed in Arizona. This system is broken - deeply broken.
Please hold the family members of these folks in your hearts. Please pray for, and demand, attention regarding this broken system from our public officials, many of whom (both Republican and Democrat) are in agreement that our immigration and border policies are deeply flawed.
There has been a trial date set for Daniel strauss and Shanti Sellz, the two young adults working with the faith-based NO MORE DEATHS campaign who were arrested this summer for transporting three folks who were in desperate trouble out of the desert. Their trial date is December 20, and you can keep up on their case and on this growing movement in support of the most marginalized among us at www.nomoredeaths.org.
Finally, there is a moving story in the L.A. Times regarding the deaths in the desert and all along the border. You can find it at http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-deaths1oct01,0,1913222.story
I'm headed to Mexico with a BorderLinks group for the next four days. We'll be staying for a night at the migrant shelter in Altar, Sonora, and then spend two nights in folks homes in a poor colonia called Flores Magon in Nogales. I would ask you hold our group in the light (as the Quakers would say.)
Blessings on all who are on the move in search of a future for their families.