[act-ma] 5/16+5/19: Dying to Come to America: Humanitarian Crisis at the US/Mexico Border

Corr, Brian bcorr at cambridgema.gov
Tue May 13 10:14:25 PDT 2008

Dying to Come to America: the Humanitarian Crisis on the Arizona/Mexico Border: a presentation and discussion with Prof. Lois Martin of No More Deaths <www.NoMoreDeaths.org> and Humane Borders <www.humaneborders.org>, both based in Tucson, AZ
* Friday, May 16 at 7 PM: Friends Meeting at Cambridge, 5 Longfellow Pl., Cambridge:
* Monday, May 19 at 7 PM: Beacon Hill Friends House, 6 Chestnut St., Beacon Hill, Boston:
Cosponsored by the Cambridge Peace Commission and the American Friends Service Committee. (For directions and maps see the bottom of this email.)

Learn about the growing tragedy of hundreds of people dying each year as they try to cross the U.S./Mexico border in Arizona. During the 2007 fiscal year a total of 237 bodies were found in the Arizona Desert -- the most dangerous entry area for migrants crossing from Mexico. Activists there know of many more migrants who have died, but whose remains have not yet been found.

Lois Martin, an active member of No More Deaths in Arizona (and professor at Salem State College for 25 years before retiring in 2004) will speak on Friday, May 16 in Cambridge and again on Monday, May 19 in Boston about the mounting humanitarian crisis on the border -- and what people are doing to address it in Arizona. Following her presentation, there will be a period of discussion and a chance to talk about what people here can do.

Lois was as a founding member of the Central American Solidarity Association (CASA) in Cambridge during the 1980s, and later focused on Cuba and Colombia. Since retiring to Tucson in 2004, Lois has been working with three organizations that provide direct assistance to migrants from Mexico and Central America: Humane Borders, No More Deaths and Samaritans. These three Tucson-based organizations are responsible for the majority of direct assistance provided migrants crossing the Arizona.

According to Lois, "In addition to tracing briefly the historical development of the current crisis, I bring photos taken at our desert camps and on our foot patrols searching for migrants in trouble. I also discuss and show something of our work at an aid stations on the Mexican side of the border where we assist people being 'repatriated' after being apprehended in the desert by the Border Patrol or picked up in raids across the US. The condition and circumstances of these returnees are shockingly bad.

"My intent in talking to people is to put a human face on the migrants. I hope to help people understand why men, women and children from Mexico and Central America are migrating in increasing numbers despite the enormous risks; the role of US foreign policies in forcing their migration; the brutal nature of risks they confront; and the consequences of our border policies. I also want to spread word of the humanitarian efforts on both sides of the border to alleviate the suffering of migrant families-both those migrating and those left behind."


Friends Meeting at Cambridge is at 5 Longfellow Park, just off Brattle Street. The closest subway stop is Harvard Square. A detailed map is available at: http://www.fmcquaker.org/FMC-Map_2006.pdf and online directions are available at: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=5+Longfellow+Park+02138

Beacon Hill Friends House is at 6 Chestnut St, Beacon Hill, near Park St station. Directions available at: http://www.bhfh.org/Bhfh-Directions.html#PUBLIC and online directions also available at: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=6+Chestnut+St+02108

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