Tag Archives: news

MIGRANTS IN SASABE STUCK IN FREEZING TEMPS OVERNIGHT, INCLUDING FAMILIES

Danyelle Khmara, AZPM News, 13 February 2024

People began crossing the border Friday, in a remote area east of Sasabe, including many families with children.

Aid volunteer Bryce Peterson says Border Patrol only picked up a limited number of people, so aid groups began bringing migrants to the Border Patrol station in Sasabe.

“Throughout the course of the night another 200 people had showed up,” Peterson said. “So we were dealing with about 400 people who were all freezing cold, wet from being snowed and rained on. All the people that had been walking throughout the night were in really bad shape.”

Migrants have been crossing in that remote area for months, and aid groups are asking Border Patrol to set up a warming station and processing center in the remote area and increase processing capacity at the station in Sasabe.

Seemingly at odds with the aid workers’ account, Customs and Border Protection says they prioritized the humanitarian response to the migrants abandoned in the cold, triaged the situation and prioritized the most vulnerable migrants for transportation.

By Sunday morning, all the migrants had been taken into Border Patrol custody. There were no serious medical emergencies or deaths reported.

SOME LAWMAKERS WANT A CLAMPDOWN ON ASYLUM. AZ OFFICIALS AND AID WORKERS ALREADY FACE CHALLENGES

Alisa Reznick, KJZZ Fronteras Desk, 23 January 2024

Washington narrowly avoided a government shutdown this month. But lawmakers are still mulling a potential deal that would green-light military aid for Ukraine in exchange for crackdowns on asylum at the border. In the meantime, along remote stretches of the Arizona border, officials say that system is overwhelmed.

Nestled into the heart of the rugged Altar Valley a little more than an hour south of Tucson, Sasabe is a tiny border community encircled by wild desert grasslands and steep mountain ranges.

It’s home to a bright yellow country store, an elementary school, and a tiny border crossing that leads to Sasabe, Sonora. Only a few dozen people live here on the Arizona side. 

But it’s been at the epicenter of a lot of different border eras over the years.

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COOLER TEMPERATURES BRING CONCERN FOR MIGRANTS WAITING TO BE PROCESSED NEAR LUKEVILLE BORDER

Emilee Miranda, 13 News, 4 January 2024

As temperatures continue to drop in Tucson, they are also declining in Lukeville as hundreds of asylum seekers wait along the wall to be processed by border patrol.

For months, thousands of migrants have been arriving in the Tucson sector. Many of them are sleeping and staying near the border wall until they can be transported elsewhere by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. As the migrant surge continues, the fundraising coordinator for No More Deaths said they are concerned about the cooler temperatures.

“Lows are getting down into the low 30s coming up, and we’re seeing so many people who are in great danger of injury and death from exposure, so anything helps,” said Danielle, fundraising coordinator for No More Deaths.

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NO MORE DEATHS VOLUNTEERS EVACUATE MIGRANTS FROM ‘DIRE’ COLD AS CHRISTMAS NEARS IN REMOTE AZ DESERT

Paul Ingram, Tucson Sentinel, 24 December 2023

In the desert quiet, a little girl began to howl and cry. Her mother tried to comfort her, but they were both freezing, soaked to the bone in wet clothes and tucked beneath wide advertising banners tucked against the 30-foot-high wall miles in the desert wilderness east of Sasabe, Ariz.

All Friday—just days before Christmas— rain came down unabated and for a while lightning cracked across the sky. But, finally, the rain slowed to a drizzle and the moon pierced through clouds. As the girl cried, a volunteer with No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization based in Southern Arizona, rushed from trucks parked in the mud to help.

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“IT’S LIKE CAMPING WITHOUT A TENT”: IN REMOTE SCC, LARGE GROUPS OF MIGRANTS AWAIT BORDER PATROL

Angela Gervasi, Nogales International, 7 December 2023

Over a recent December weekend in a western corner of Santa Cruz County, a man from Morocco leaned on crutches as he attempted to trek through the desert. Stationed near the U.S.-Mexico border fence, other migrants lit small bonfires in an effort to counteract the dwindling temperatures of nightfall.

These are two of the scenes humanitarian volunteers recounted to the NI as they described a relatively new entry point for large groups of asylum-seeking migrants: a rugged area west of Nogales and east of Sásabe.

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NEW REPORT FINDS PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT HAS HISTORY OF NOT RESPONDING TO CALLS FROM LOST MIGRANTS

Danyelle Khmara, AZPM News, 20 November 2023

A new report found that the way the Pima County Sheriff’s Department responds to distress calls from undocumented migrants lost in the desert is discriminatory, violates the department’s own standards of conduct, and has led to deaths and disappearances that could have been avoided. The sheriff’s department disputes these findings.

Advocacy group No More Deaths reviewed more than two thousand 911 calls handled by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department from the summer of 2016 to the summer of 2018, a sample of 64 emergency calls transferred to Border Patrol in June 2022, and another 4 cases of English speakers calling for emergency search and rescue during the same month, which No More Deaths obtained under public records law.

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NO MORE DEATHS REPORT: “SEPARATE AND DEADLY” REVEALS DISCRIMINATORY 911 CALL SYSTEM IN US/MEXICO BORDERLANDS

ImmigrationProf Blog, 15 November 2023

Yesterday, No More Deaths released Separate and Deadly: Segregation of 911 Emergency Services in the Arizona Borderlands. The report is the latest installment of Disappeared, a four-part series that examines the Border Patrol’s role in the deaths and disappearances in the U.S./Mexico border region. Separate and Deadly analyzes the Pima County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Department’s emergency response system. The report finds vastly different responses to the distress calls on 911 of migrants based on their citizenship status. Migrant distress calls are routinely transferred to the Border Patrol, which No More Deaths says has “demonstrated a deadly negligence when it comes to emergency response and rescue.”  In 2023, the remains of 175 people have been found in Arizona. Countless more remain disappeared.

REPORT FINDS ARIZONA 911 DISPATCHERS FAIL TO HELP LOST MIGRANTS

Tanvi Misra, High Country News, 14 November 2023

On June 27, 2022, around 1:44 a.m., a man lost in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona called 911. An emergency services dispatcher for Pima County answered. The man, clearly distressed, tried to describe his surroundings and explain that he was lost, wet and freezing. But before he could finish, the dispatcher interrupted him, saying, “I don’t understand, un momento,” and abruptly transferred the call to the U.S. Border Patrol. The agent who picked up shushed the caller as he started to speak —“Cállate!” (“Be quiet!”) — and spoke to the dispatcher instead, in English. Then they hung up, leaving the man to the agent. An incident report suggests that no actions were taken to follow up or locate the lost caller: “No additional calls have come from the subject. … At this time the caller has not been identified and not located.” 

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