Refilling water jugs in the Arizona desert

October 16, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Arizona, Video 

During the past year, more than 250 bodies of people trying to cross the U.S./Mexico border have been discovered in the Arizona desert. That’s a record. Increased numbers of Border Patrol agents, a fence and better technology are forcing migrants to choose riskier routes when they cross the desert, according to a recent NPR story.

Check out the following video, which documents my travels with Humane Borders, a group that sends weekly volunteers to the Sonoran Desert to refill water jugs. Their mission is to prevent deaths in the desert. You can also see photos of the trip.


Not the Land of Opportunity she expected: An Iranian refugee loses her father in a taxicab robbery

October 7, 2010 by · 14 Comments
Filed under: Immigrant Stories 

When it comes to crime and immigration, I usually hear about immigrants coming to the United States and committing crimes. To take a look at the other side of this equation, I decided to explore the story of an immigrant family whose taxicab-driving father was allegedly killed by Americans last year.

LidaProfile1 150x150 Not the Land of Opportunity she expected: An Iranian refugee loses her father in a taxicab robbery

Lida Vatanpour

On the summer evening before Lida Vatanpour headed for an organic chemistry make-up exam at the University of Texas at Dallas, the 29-year-old Iranian with reddish-highlighted black hair, dark eyes and a pretty smile called her father.

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Stephen Colbert testifies before Congress about immigration

September 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Agricultural Workers 

Today Stephen Colbert’s congressional testimony shed light on the complexities of having migrant agricultural workers in the United States and some of the issues in the bipartisan AgJOBS bill. Referring to free market capitalism, he said, “Even the Invisible Hand doesn’t want to pick beans.” He advocated offering more visas to immigrants because he said he now understands why Americans aren’t applying for these jobs.

Colbert emphasized how tough it was when he spent a day picking beans and packing corn through the Take Our Jobs program, which was designed to offer farm worker jobs to U.S. citizens. After Colbert’s testimony, Arturo Gonzalez, president of United Farm Workers of America, stated that despite a large number of visitor to their Web site, only seven people have been employed through the program.



U.S. Immigration Laws–Native American Style

August 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Video 

I came across this Current TV video clip that shows what would happen if the Native Americans had implemented United States-like immigration laws. The Native Americans’ worries about the newcomers from England are quite funny and reflect a lot of current attitudes in the United States. I enjoyed the talking buffalo character who is definitely anti-immigration.


Crime, immigration laws and a father’s anger

July 31, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Arizona 

Woman Being Arrested2 e1280547775736 150x148 Crime, immigration laws and a father’s anger“Russell, this is really going to make you mad, but Sean was shot by an illegal alien.”

The words of an Arizona state senator’s wife in December 2004, as quoted in a Reuters article, could be credited with inspiring the legislation behind Arizona’s newest and very controversial immigration law SB 1070, which was partially blocked by a federal judge on Wednesday.

Already a fierce opponent of illegal immigration, Senator Russell Pearce, Sean’s father, began firing off one legislative proposal after another to curb illegal immigrants’ access to employment, voting, bail and public benefits.

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