We asked the young man carrying the cross at the immigrant march last Monday who the person named on it was. He explained softly: "Marco Antonio Villaseñor died crossing the desert."
Although no one really knows for sure, the LA Times reports that the toll of persons dying out there keeps rising. Militarization of the border does not stem the flow of people, but it does increase the human and monetary cost to migrants.
And so militarization accomplishes the contradictory result of forcing persons who might go back to Mexico to stay in the U.S.
In Tucson, the religious and humanitarian campaign No More Deaths is concluding a 40 day Lenten and Passover fast for justice "in remembrance of the lives claimed along our border and in protest of the policies that cause these deaths."
Two No More Deaths volunteers, Daniel Strauss and Shanti Sellz, are being prosecuted by the U.S. Border Patrol for medically evacuating 3 people in critical condition from the 105-degree Arizona desert in July 2005.
During this Holy Week, I am reading The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, a day by day account of Jesus' final days. It is a wonderful book -- a reminder of how radically subversive Jesus' good news is for us, and for all principalities and powers.
But in today's context, the authors' reference to a Hebrew bible text jumped out at me. In Leviticus 25:23, God says:
How dare we who merely have short term tenancy on some of the land deny it to others who are also aliens along with us?