Friday, May 22, 2009

The Migrant Trail Thanks YOU!

Thanks to the generous donations from all the folks at Spirit of Christ, Terri & Cindy with St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, Mark O’Brien, Paul & Janet Carpenter, Mimzy with the Glennon Heights Mennonite Church, and many many others, the magnificent Tom Kowal will be driving your much appreciated supplies to Arizona for the Migrant Trail Walk!
If you STILL want to support the visionary message of the Migrant Trail Walk and other amazing boarder work consider donating Medical Supplies or Funds to purchase an off road vehicle for No More Deaths!
And read below for coverage of deaths along the border that YOUR donations are helping to PREVENT! Read the article online

This is Maureen Marx from No More Deaths Tucson. We are gearing up for our summer program of a 24/7 presence in the desert, trail-walking, food and water drops and medical care at our camp medical clinic. Here on the border, we are still seeing some migrants in desperate condition with severe dehydration, blisters, broken bones, lacerations and infections. I am new to NMD and have taken on the task of procuring medical supplies and am coming to you with a request. Would you and your Denver group be willing and able to
gather some much needed medical supplies and send them on to us? A wish list is enclosed.
Would you email me and let me know whether the Denver group can do this? If you can do this project, please send the supplies to me at the following address.
Maureen Marx
4902 E. 12th St
Tucson, AZ 85711
Looking forward to hearing from you,
First Aid Supplies Needed for NMD Field work summer 2009
• Oral Rehydration salts / Pedialyte
• **OTC medications: Tylenol, anti-diarrheals, Pepto-Bismol tablets, benadryl, throat lozenges, ointments and salves for pain and inflammation, lip balm
• *Adult care wipes/wet wipes large and portable packages
• *Ace wraps (all sizes)
• *Instant cold packs,
• *Moleskin / Surgical foam tape for blisters
• *Silvadene or similar cream/powder
• *Tagaderm / Duoderm / Second Skin
• *Bacitracin / antibiotic ointments
• Bandage scissors / tweezers
• Tape / Coban wrap
• Non-occlusive dressings
• Telfa / Non-stick dressings
• Hand sanitizer (large and portable sizes)
• Aloe gel
• Universal splints (such as SAM splints)
• Foot care: moleskin, liquid bandage, antibiotic ointment, gauze pads and gauze rolls, telfa pads, coban adhering wrap, tape, nail clippers
• Ankle/joint care: ace wraps (various sizes), lidocaine spray, sports tape, instant cold packs, splints, triangular bandages,
• Wound care: bandages, gauze pads, antibiotic ointment, gauze rolls, tape, wet wipes, prep pads, liquid bandage (spray or brush on)
• Heat Injury: instant cold packs, Rehydration salts, wet wipes, misting spray bottles, aloe gel
First Aid Kits will be carried and used in the field by No More Deaths volunteers who are medical professionals (MD / RN / LPN) or trained and certified first responders (WFR / EMT)
*-These items are especially needed in large quantities
**-Single-use sizes to send with patients are very useful

Dear Friend of Migrants:
No More Deaths, founded in the Fall of 2003, works to end death and suffering on the U.S./Mexico border through civil initiative: the conviction that people of conscience must work openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights. We have hosted and trained thousands of volunteers to provide aid to migrants at our desert camps and border aid stations.
The desert is unforgiving and to do this important work, transportation is imperative. We are committed to reaching remote parts of the Arizona backcountry accessible only by rough "roads" on which even the Border Patrol dislikes driving. Therefore, we are asking for your support in purchasing an off-road vehicle to be used in accessing these rough “roads,” as well as for transporting volunteers to desert camps and border aid stations.
We believe it is essential to be able to provide hu¬manitarian aid to people regardless of their citizenship or legal status. Our work is done with transparency and integrity. We hope to see the end of the deadly economic and border policies soon–but we will con¬tinue to provide aid until there are no more deaths.
Thank you for your generous support!
The Volunteers of No More Deaths Tucson and the Migrants Served
Help make our humanitarian effort more effective…..
This special donation given to No More Deaths goes to support humanitarian aid efforts in the desert and on the border through purchase of an off-road vehicle.
One Time Gift ™ $ 25 ™ $ 50 ™ $ 75 ™ $ 100 ™ Other $¬¬¬¬________
Monthly Pledge Gift $__________ for ______ months
City____________________ State_______ Zip____________
Email _______________________________________________
Checks should be mailed to and made payable to: Unitarian Uni¬versalist Church of Tucson (Memo: No More Deaths/Off-road vehicle), PO Box 40782, Tucson, AZ 85711. For more information, call 520-495-5583 or

Death count rises with border restrictions
Officials: Crossers now trek farther to dodge security
By Brady McCombs, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.17.2009
Illegal border crossers face a deadlier trek than ever across Arizona's desert.
The risk of dying is 1.5 times higher today compared with five years ago and 17 times greater than in 1998, the Arizona Daily Star's border-death database shows.
That's a significant increase considering the initial spike of deaths in Arizona occurred in 2000-02.
Through the first seven months of fiscal year 2009, there were 60 known deaths per 100,000 apprehensions in the area covered in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. That's up from 39 known deaths per 100,000 apprehensions in 2004.
The increased risk of death parallels the historic buildup of agents, fences, roads and technology along the U.S.-Mexico border, calling into question one of the Border Patrol's mantras that a "secure border is a safe border."
Even with 3,300 agents, 210 miles of fences and vehicle barriers, and 40 agents assigned to the agency's search, rescue and trauma team, Borstar, illegal immigrants are still dying while trying to cross the Border Patrol's 262-mile-long Tucson Sector.
Border county law enforcement, Mexican Consulate officials, Tohono O'odham tribal officials and humanitarian groups say the buildup has caused illegal border crossers to walk longer distances in more treacherous terrain, increasing the likelihood that people will get hurt or fatigued and left behind to die.
"We are pushing people into more deadly areas," said Kat Rodriguez, coordinating organizer for Coalición de Derechos Humanos, a Tucson-based group that tracks the deaths. "When enforcement goes up, death goes up. We've been saying that for years."
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada and Sgt. David Noland, the Cochise County Sheriff's Office search and rescue coordinator, say body recoveries in their counties show that people are trekking through increasingly remote areas.
The Border Patrol doesn't stop anyone from coming; it only shifts the locations where they cross, said Rev. Robin Hoover, president of Tucson-based Humane Borders. His group's maps show that bodies are being found farther away from principal roads and water sources each year.
"The presence of the Border Patrol makes the average migrant hungrier, thirstier, more tired and sicker," Hoover said.
Border Patrol officials point to their rescue efforts as evidence that their presence prevents deaths rather than causes them.
"Our presence is greater; we are getting to these people sooner," said Robert Boatright, deputy chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. The agency rescued 160 people through mid-May, compared with 151 at the same time last year.
He attributes the continued rise in deaths to better recovery methods and more thorough record-keeping.
"When somebody loses a loved one, a lot of times we're getting better information back and going back and finding those," Boatright said.
The agency concentrates its agents and rescue teams in the desert west of Sasabe, where most of the bodies are found, to move them out of the most dangerous areas, he said.
"I'm not driving them to a more hazardous location," he said. "I'm driving them toward Nogales." Flawed statistics
Nobody knows exactly how many people try to cross the border illegally through Arizona.
There is no magic laser counter strung across the U.S.-Mexico border, and no agency estimates how many people get past the Border Patrol.
That leaves the Border Patrol's apprehensions as the best, albeit flawed, indicator of the flow of illegal immigrants.
It's flawed because apprehensions represent an event, not a person, and don't distinguish whether someone has been caught once or multiple times.
The apprehension figures show a clear downward trend in the Tucson Sector, the busiest on the Southwest Border, with the captures dropping 35 percent from 491,771 in 2004 to 317,696 in 2008. This year's numbers through April are down 31 percent from the same time in 2008.
The Border Patrol points to the gradual decrease as evidence that fewer are crossing. That theory is backed by several other indicators of a slowdown, including Mexican census data that show fewer people are leaving the country.
Yet the number of bodies found hasn't followed that downward slope.
The body count has remained in the same range between 2004 and 2009, yo-yoing between 180 and 230 per fiscal year, the Star border-death database shows.
The bodies of 86 illegal border crossers have been discovered from the beginning of fiscal year 2009 - Oct. 1 - through April, compared with 75 at the same time last year. The hottest and most deadly months for migrant deaths are still to come.
The Arizona Daily Star's border-death database only goes back to October 2004, but using the Border Patrol's death totals, which have long undercounted the number of deaths, the risk of dying has increased 17 times, from three per 100,000 apprehensions in 1998 to 51 per 100,000 apprehensions in 2009.
But Dr. Bruce Parks, chief medical examiner at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, cautions that the yearly counts may not accurately represent that year's total, because many in recent years have been skeletal remains that could be people who died in previous years.
Each year since 2004, the total number of bodies found in the form of skeletal remains has accounted for a larger percentage of the total, increasing to 25 percent in 2009 from 4 percent in 2004, the Arizona Daily Star database shows.
Even without the skeletal remains, though, the number of bodies found per 100,000 apprehensions has increased from 38 in 2004 to 50 in 2009.
And some of the people found as skeletal remains could have died months earlier within the same year, especially if death occurs in the summer, when heat speeds up decomposition, said Jerónimo Garcia, a representative of the Mexican Consulate in Tucson who handles the identification and coordination of the remains.
Skeleton found in August
One of the skeletons found in 2008 was the remains of Juana Pastrana Villanueva, a 57-year-old woman from Acapulco.
On Aug. 6, 2008, her remains were found about 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, in the northern part of the Tohono O'odham Reservation.
A jacket near the body contained the identification of a man from Acapulco. When Mexican officials contacted his family, they said he was alive in the United States.
He told them the body was Pastrana's.
He left his ID in that pocket because Pastrana wasn't carrying any ID, and he wanted to make sure her family knew she was dead. He knew authorities would call his family.
Pastrana was supposed to cross the border somewhere north of Altar, Sonora, around mid-July of 2008.
Her remains were found three weeks later southwest of Casa Grande. She likely walked for at least six days to get there, or she might have been picked up and driven north before being dropped off again, Garcia said. The medical examiner determined Pastrana died of hyperthermia, or heatstroke, the most common cause of deaths among illegal border crossers discovered in Arizona.
Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or
Read the article online

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Tuesday, May 5 – Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Urge President Obama to grant TPS for Haitians

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Your five minutes of solidarity with Haiti can make the difference! Please call President Obama and urge him to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians in the United States.

Given the devastating and overwhelming conditions in Haiti, TPS is the most immediate form of humanitarian assistance the United States government can provide. The U.S. government has granted TPS to nationals from other countries that face significant hardship and suffering.

Storms and hurricanes in Haiti have left scores of people dead, an estimated one million families and children homeless, and destroyed local crops needed for food. Presently 70% of the Haitian people are unemployed, while still others wait for relief and assistance. Deporting Haitians in the United States by not granting TPS aggravates the island’s political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis. Please call today!

 Step 1: Call 1-800-906-5989 to connect to the White House Comment Line. (Call time: Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm EST)

 Step 2: Speak to the operator and ask that your message be conveyed to the President. Urge President Obama to grant Temporary Protected Status to our Haitian brothers and sisters. For sample comments see below.

Hello. My name is ____________ and I am from (city and state).

I urge President Obama to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Haitians in the United States.

I also urge the President to stop the deportation of Haitians. Deportations separate families and aggravate Haiti’s humanitarian crisis. It is time for the President to take action, and I look forward to his leadership. Thank you.

American Friends Service Committee
Project Voice Network -
1501 Cherry Street - Philadelphia, PA 19102 - (215) 241-7131
For further reading: http://www/