Things That Matter

Watch the U.S./Mexico Border Wall Disappear

Artist Erases U.S.-Mexico BorderAn artist is erasing the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico.

How?

Posted by AJ+ on Thursday, October 15, 2015

Credit: AJ+ / Facebook

Artist Erases U.S. / Mexico Border

Can you imagine a world without borders? Well, Ana Teresa Fernández, a Mexican artist working in Nogales, México, wants you to stop imagining so she is “erasing” the U.S.- Mexico border.

By “erasing” the wall along the U.S. / Mexico border she wants to give the illusion that “we’re all one humanity under one sky”. If only we all shared the same thought.

“We [painted] it specifically in this space because there’s a street that starts in Mexico and continues in the United States, but there is this barrier that prevents movement across it, ” Fernández says in an interview for AJ+. “So we intend to create the illusion like there is only sky.”

Watch the video above to see the border wall vanish.

Fernández painting next to her sister and Luis, a migrant worker deported after having lived and worked in the U.S. for more than 20 years.

Portrait of Luis.

Luis painting alongside border patrol.

Where the border “ends.”

Manuel helps with the hard to reach places.

Just blue skies.

READ: Discarded Items at U.S. / Mexico Border are Not What They Seem





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Two Marines In California Have Been Charged With Smuggling Immigrants Across The Border

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Two Marines In California Have Been Charged With Smuggling Immigrants Across The Border

Coming to the U.S. isn’t easy. It can cost a lot of money whether people do it legally or not. Sometimes it can even cost them their lives. In 2018, The New York Times reported that coyotes — people who help undocumented immigrants enter the U.S. — charged people thousands of dollars. But who are these coyotes anyway? Coyotes can be anyone, men, women, professionals or otherwise. Coyotes have also been known to exploit those they are supposedly trying to help. The job is a dangerous one that puts all parties at risk with the ultimate goal of getting everyone in the party across the U.S.-Mexico border without injury or being caught. Unfortunately, more often than not, these stories don’t have a happy ending.

Two marines attempted to help undocumented immigrants enter the U.S., but were caught en route to their destination.

Credit: @vevecurl / Twitter

According to media reports on July 3, Camp Pendleton marines Byron Darnell Law II and David Javier Salazar-Quintero were arrested at Jacumba Hot Springs, California — which is east of San Diego near the border. The men had three undocumented immigrants in their car. They now face “one felony count of seeking monetary compensation,” Fox5 reports. When the men were pulled over for questioning the two Marines began pointing fingers at one another, CNN reports.

Salazar-Quintero allegedly told Law if he wanted to make $1000 for transporting the undocumented immigrants.

Credit: @Mickpgem / Twitter

This was not the first time Salazar-Quintero helped undocumented people enter the U.S. According to news reports, he told officials that he had picked people near Jacumba Hot Springs several times before. Officials spoke to the undocumented immigrants who said that they paid Salazar-Quintero $8,000 to be smuggled into the U.S. That amount is what the standard rate is, according to the 2018 New York Times report. However, Salazar-Quintero said he was expecting $500 for the pickup. It’s unclear if he was given more.

The complaint shows that Salazar-Quintero was the one spearheading the transportation details.

Credit: @realGenerationX / Twitter

It’s unclear who first contacted Salazar-Quintero but the complaint states that Law said Salazar-Quintero was handling the phone calls which include information about instructions. Salazar-Quintero also speaks Spanish which helped in facilitating the movement.

It’s also uncertain if other marines helped Salazar-Quintero to smuggle undocumented immigrants previously or if he acted alone. One theory that perhaps helped Salazar-Quintero is that officials wouldn’t question why he would have undocumented people in his car since he is an official marine. However, if he was in plains clothing that may have been a reason why he got caught.

Both marines are distinguished officers who have received awards for their service.

Credit: @shastableus / Twitter

The National Review reports that they both enlisted in 2017 and “have won the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Officials at Camp Pendleton said they are cooperating “fully with the investigative efforts into this matter.”

While coyotes aren’t the main way people enter the country, it’s a method that is still used whether it is through car transport or via semi-trucks.

We’ve seen previous reports of dozens, if not hundreds, of undocumented immigrants being transported through semi-trucks. Some are in there for days without water or without means to use the bathrooms. The NY Times reports that “a decade ago, Mexicans and Central Americans paid between $1,000 and $3,000 for clandestine passage into the United States. Now they hand over up to $9,200 for the same journey, the Department of Homeland Security reported last year.”

Fox News now reports that Mexico is trying to combat the smuggling of undocumented immigrants by using X-ray machines to see inside trucks.

“Mexican officials say they caught more than 200 migrants hidden in trucks the last two days, using X-rays to see the people hidden inside. The Mexican security ministry also said it found 228 migrants in a routine search of a soft drink transportation truck in one of its southern states on Monday.”

“It is our strategic objective to end the impunity for human traffickers,” Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday, according to Fox News.

READ: New Research Shows Most Undocumented Immigrants Aren’t Coming From Mexico But Instead Central America

The Situation At The Border Is Worse Than Ever, And Children Are The Real Victims

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The Situation At The Border Is Worse Than Ever, And Children Are The Real Victims

The situation at the border is dire, and this is something we’ve known for a while. With more and more people dying while in U.S. custody, it is clear the situation is worse than ever. People who are quick to blame the incoming groups of migrants across the border should comprehend that violence in Central America is worse than ever. People do not have a choice. They can either die in their country or attempt to get asylum in the U.S. What is also clear now is that people risk dying once they arrive here anyway.

Another thing people should consider is that the U.S. government is not equipped to handle undocumented immigrants. They are rushing to hire, and are not adequately trained employees, which is why there’s so much added chaos. This was not the case before Donald Trump got elected. The worst of it is falling on the children.

With limited housing options, undocumented children are reportedly sleeping on concrete floors or border patrol stations.

According to NBC News, displaced children are now sleeping wherever they can find the room or at least wherever the border patrol lets them.

“Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency responsible for sheltering migrant children and matching them with a parent or sponsor, is operating at 97 percent capacity, far over its designated ‘red zone’ of 90 percent,” NBC News reports. “Because many facilities only take certain ages or genders, being so close to capacity significantly delays the ability of HHS to find children a place in its care.”

HHS previously said that they were reaching the limit and would need more options on how to best handle the overcrowding.

The report shows that HHS is blaming Congress for not giving them more funds to be better equipped for the dire situation. It is unclear which party is denying the funds. Democratic lawmakers have visited the border and have repeatedly said they have demanded better treatment of the migrants.

A separate report shows that there is an increase in migration whereas in years prior only men were attempting to cross, and now it’s families and children.

A New York Times report states that the previous migration was coming from Mexico when men went to the U.S. looking for work. Now, the crisis in Central America is worse than ever. People are dying there due to violence or extreme poverty.

Immigration advocates say more deaths at the hands of U.S. custody will occur if the conditions do not improve.

“How many more lives lost will it take for things to change at the border?” Erika Andiola, Chief of Advocacy at RAICES tweeted. “How many more lives until America realizes that human beings are dying as they look for safety and home in the US. My heart hurts.”

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