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Ear to the Ground

A Deadly Winter for Border Crossers

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Posted on Feb 16, 2010
Flickr / AZDew

The Arizona side of the U.S.-Mexico border can be unforgiving terrain for border crossers in winter.

It’s been a wet and deadly winter for illegal immigrants crossing into Arizona from Mexico, with nine border crossers dying from hypothermia since November. That equals the number who died trying to make the crossing in the previous three winters combined.

Meanwhile, immigration reform still languishes and the expansion of the wall between the U.S. and Mexico forces many migrants to cross in areas that are increasingly dangerous and isolated.

One organization that provides humanitarian aid to migrants is No More Deaths, which operates out of Phoenix. —JCL

The Los Angeles Times:

An unusually wet winter in Arizona has been lethal for illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico into the United States, with nine people dying from hypothermia since November.

The same number of immigrants died of hypothermia during the previous three winters combined.

“When you are wet, your risk is a lot higher,” said Dr. Bruce Parks, chief medical examiner in Pima County. “Wet clothing takes the heat away from the body. You’ve lost that insulation—your body can’t react.”

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By rollzone, February 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

hello. they are not just Mexicants. drop leaflets that
tell them to wear raincoats/plastic garbage bags.

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By canyon critter, February 17, 2010 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

no one is forcing these people to illegally cross our border. the social- economic impact on this country is staggering. i feel sorry for all the americans who are killed by illegal immigrants in this country. a butte montana man was killed by an illegal immigrant who broke into his home. a deputy sheriff was killed in delta, utah recently by an illegal who was here dealing drugs. i guess he was doing one of the jobs americans wont do. the 2 largest drug bust in montana history where illegal immigrant drug dealers who had been deported many times in the past. in escondido, ca a recent gang bust 17 of the 25 gang members arrested where illegals. this is happening in all 50 states and even in your town.

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By Carl, February 17, 2010 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Many people do not realize “immigration reform” is strongly opposed by most working Americans, and all unemployed Americans, yet is pushed by Corporate leaders included George Bush.

Here is part of an article that explains America’s unemployment rate exceeds 20%, and what to do about it:

  American Jobs for American Workers

  President Obama can instantly create 65,000 high-paying jobs for Americans each year by eliminating the H1-B visa program. An Internet search turns up hundreds of stories about corporate abuse of this program. It allows them to import skilled workers without proving they are unable to find American workers. Thousands of Americans have been laid off after corporations imported foreign workers, who are paid less and can’t complain about long hours because their work visa is only valid for the corporation that sponsored them. In cases where shortages of skilled American workers exist, like nursing, federal money should be devoted to training Americans.

  Over 500,000 jobs would open for U.S. citizens if visa programs for unskilled foreign workers are eliminated. H2 work visas have been issued for decades at the request of major corporations, who claim that a shortage of American labor hampers their operations. There is obviously no labor shortage now, so visas should no longer be issued. Running these programs requires intensive manpower to review and conduct background checks of applicants, and to ensure that employers do not abuse their “indentured servants.”[4] If this burden were eliminated, Department of Labor employees could help American citizens find work with these corporations.

  Corporate interests pressured the Bush administration to encourage the flow of illegal cheap labor over the southern border with amnesty efforts and limited enforcement. As the recent stimulus package was debated, some Congressmen expressed concern that up to 300,000 of the estimated two million jobs it would create may go to illegal aliens. However, Democratic leadership in Congress stripped a measure requiring employers who receive stimulus money to use the new federal Internet-based E-Verify program to ensure they hire only legal workers.[5] While this was explained as concern for minorities, it will deny jobs to thousands of poor minorities who are U.S. citizens.

  Campaign contributions from corporations to keep cheap labor flowing is the real reason the millionaires occupying seats in Congress favor open borders. While compassion for desperate foreign economic refugees is understandable, every job they fill is a job denied to a poor American citizen. With 25% of American men ages 16-64 not working, it is impossible to argue that workers cannot be found. To evade debate, corporate spinmasters invented a derogatory term for those who believe Americans should be given preference for American jobs - Nativists. This implies they are anti-immigrant, racist, and ignorant, so rational dialogue is unnecessary.

  Given the dismal economic situation in Mexico, President Obama is foolish to encourage more illegal immigration with talks of another amnesty, disguised as “immigration reform.” Requiring employers use the simple E-verify system would open millions of jobs for citizens and encourage illegal immigrants to return home. A study of factories raided by U.S. Immigration enforcement in 2006 found that illegal workers were promptly replaced by higher paid legal workers.[6]

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By grumpynyker, February 17, 2010 at 9:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let these “poor, hardworking illegal immigrants”
challenge the oligarchs in their countries before
coming here to be cheap scab laborers.  And where are
the lawyers to challenge their exploiting the 13th
Amendment of the US Constitution?

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By Gilbert LaBiaga, February 17, 2010 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The immigration problem is real and is here. You close
your eyes hoping it will go away or walling them out is
not the logical solution to the problem. Amnesty is a
complex solution to the problem but will help. Doing
nothing about immigration is worse.

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By ofersince72, February 17, 2010 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

ignorance is bliss…...and there is ignorance
by most as Carl and lanman prove

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By Carl, February 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm Link to this comment

This is what happens when Corporate CEOs keep our borders open for cheap labor to hurt America’s poor. If our borders were secure, these things would not happen.

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By Doc, February 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To all who oppose “amnesty”:

Get real. To the immigrants desperate enough to risk life and limb to come here this country is a “golden mountain” of opportunity. There is a gigantic underground economy with an insatiable appetite for cheap, exploitable labor right next to a country full of desperate workers. No matter how many walls we put up, or how many workers we deport, this problem is going to continue.

The reason they come illegally is because there is no legal way for them to get here! There is no visa for them; no line for them to get in to. Even if they qualify, they face decades of backlogs and stiff fees. Wagging your finger at a desperate person is meaningless.

Offering them an earned pathway to citizenship while *really* ramping up enforcement (which is NOT what happened in 1986) is the only way to go. Newly legalized workers will suddenly find that they have a voice and demand fair wages and benefits without fear of retaliation, raising quality of life for all Americans and helping once and for all to end this economic and human tragedy.

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By lanman, February 16, 2010 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I feel no sorrow for people who go out of their way to put themselves and at times their children in danger by breaking the law.

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By Wendy Garcia, February 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WE NEED IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!!!!!!!!!! 2010!!!!!!!!!

Call your Senators and House of Reps from your state and let them know you want to support an Immigration Reform Bill!!!!!

We cannot create wars in other countries and say we’re trying to help out our brothers and sisters, when we can’t help out our brother and sister in our own country!!! Wake Up!!!

Your Sister Wendy

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By gerard, February 16, 2010 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

I honestly don’t know who is worse—the people who read articles like this and comment that they have no sympathy for “these people,” or people like me who read the articles, feel sympathy and sorrow,—and do nothing.

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