Migrant Trail: "We Walk for Life"
Trek will spotlight entrant deathsBy Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.27.2006
More than 120 people from around the world are expected to take part in a 75-mile walk that begins on Memorial Day and is meant to bring attention to the undocumented migrants who die in the Southern Arizona desert each summer.
The third annual "Migrant Trail: We Walk for Life" is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Sasabe, more than 70 miles southwest of Tucson. The walk will end with a memorial ceremony scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4, at Kennedy Park, on Tucson's Southwest Side.
Since Oct. 1, the start of the federal fiscal year, at least 77 migrants ages 3 to 68 have died in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector while crossing into the United States from Mexico on foot, many succumbing to dehydration and heat exhaustion.
The walk began in 2004 with about 25 participants and has grown each year, according to organizer Kat Rodriguez, part of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos/Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras one of several groups that will participate this year. Among the other groups are the faith-based No More Deaths coalition, the Samaritans, Witness for Peace, Coloradans for Immigrant Rights and the West Coast Mennonite Central Committee.
"It's about bearing witness to the deaths," Rodriguez said.
Organizers say they also want to draw attention to international economic and U.S. immigration policies that they claim are contributing to the high number of deaths.
The Migrant Trail group will walk 12 to 16 miles daily, typically beginning at 6 a.m., Rodriguez said. On the final day, the walkers will go past the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson headquarters, at 1970 W. Ajo Way.
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Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at 573-4134 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information from co-sponsor Mennonite Central Committee