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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

USA: Immigrant deaths creating backlog at morgue

From Casa Grande Valley Newspapers:
They die from the cold, and they die from the heat. They die of massive head trauma, ejected from overloaded vehicles that blow a tire and roll.
One man, hiding in a smuggler's car trunk, took a bullet in the chest as border agents and smugglers exchanged fire.

Some drown. Some fall.

At least one is believed to have committed suicide.

Smugglers shoot each other or throw each other off bridges. And some of them fall victim to the elements.

Husbands identify their wives' remains; children pick through belongings found with bodies, looking for something they might recognize.
Kat Rodriguez, organizing coordinator of Tucson-based human rights group Derechos Humanos, called the situation a failure by the U.S. government. She blamed the lack of legal means for workers to cross over and enforcement policies that push illegal immigrants into desolate areas away from cities.

"Every year has been the deadliest ... every summer has been the deadliest," Rodriguez said, reflecting on Border Patrol operations during the past 10 years. This summer brought the $30 million Arizona Border Control effort.

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