Tuesday, July 3, 2007

CFIR Members participate in Migrant Trail Walk

Amig@s – most of you know that 4 of us from Colorado, and more than 50 others from all over the country, participated in the Migrant Trail Walk again this year. The Walk goes the 76 miles from Sasabe, Sonora to Tucson, during the week after Memorial Day. There are great pictures by a professional photographer, Scott Griessel, of the first couple of days of the Walk, at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/creatista/sets/72157600274863961/

At the end of the Walk there was a press conference, where many of the participants spoke far more eloquently than I about the experience and why we do it each year. But I have only my own notes, which I’ve pasted below. After Kat Rodriquez’ [Derechos Humanos, Tucson] spoke of the ongoing tragedy on the Border, my part was:

The reason this suffering and these deaths are occurring is that our immigration system is broken. The laws need to change – 5000 deaths on this border in the past 10 years – each brave one lost to his or her family, each a loss to all of us. This migration cannot be stopped by the cruel policies of driving migrants into the desert – it will not be stopped by a 15 foot wall or a triple 30-foot wall. The people come because there are jobs here, and they are desperate to feed their families. The only solution is fair and realistic immigration reform.

We call for immediate reform to provide an adequate number of work visas, for the unification of families, and for the recognition of the contributions that immigrants are making – have always made – to both countries. We call for a path to citizenship for those who come here and want to remain, and for SAFE passage over these borderlands for all. We call for an immediate end to the militarization of the border, and NO MORE DEATHS.

Paz y Luz --

Tom Kowal

3 comments:

Piper said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. The pictures are amazing and give me goose bumps.

Piper said...

A blog quoting Tom on the Migrant Trail Walk

http://wactivist.com/article/933/por-la-raza

Coloradans For Immigrant Rights, a project of the AFSC! said...

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Carrie Fox, Migrant Trail Media Representative: 520-770-1373
The Migrant Trail: We Walk for Life
May 28 – June 3, 2007
A 75 mile walk from Sásabe, Sonora, MX to Tucson, AZ


Migrant Trail Bears Witness to Human Rights Crisis


Tucson, AZ- On May 28, 2007, for the fourth year in a row, a diverse group of individuals will begin a 75 mile walk to call attention to the human rights crisis that is occurring on our borders. We walk in solidarity with migrants and we demand an end to the deaths in the desert. The Migrant Trail: We walk for Life is a joint endeavor of community groups and individuals from both sides of the border, including the Migrant Trail Walk Committee, Coalición de Derechos Humanos, BorderLinks, West Coast Mennonite Central Committee, Catholic Relief Services – Mexico Program, No More Deaths – Phoenix, Coloradans for Immigrants Rights, Frontera de Cristo, Humane Borders, JPIC Office of the St. Barbara Province Franciscans, Tucson SOA Watch, Casa Maria, and Church of the Good Sheppard.

The walk will begin Monday, May 28 in Sásabe, Sonora and arrive at Kennedy Park on Sunday, June 3rd for a closing ceremony.

“For the fourth year we stand together in solidarity with migrants in our call for action to prevent the tragic deaths and division of communities along the U.S.-Mexico border,” says Tom Kowal of AFSC Colorado. “Thousands of men, women, and children have died due to failed border militarization tactics and unjust immigration and international economic policies. This must stop.”

Since the 1990s, it has been estimated that over 4,000 migrants have lost their lives crossing the U.S./Mexico border. As the summer approaches, the number of migrants dying in the desert will begin to increase dramatically, and many will die the horrible death of dehydration and exposure. These deaths, a direct result of failed and flawed border and immigration policies, must be prevented.

“The Migrant Trail is an effort on the part of community members to bear witness to the threat of death present in our militarized borderlands and the emotional and physical suffering that our migrant sisters and brothers are forced to face every day in an effort to seek a better life” says Rev. Delle McCormick of BorderLinks. “We encourage our community leaders to promote comprehensive immigration reform that protects the dignity of all human life.”

Participants and organizers of the Migrant Trail call on all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with our migrant sisters and brothers. For more information on the Migrant Trail, please contact organizers at 520-770-1373, e-mail migrant_trail@yahoo.com, or visit www.derechoshumanosaz.net.
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