Over a year ago, No More Deaths was approached by KIND Snacks to document our lifesaving work in the Arizona desert. We chose to participate and got to work with an Oscar-winning cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki. Through the video piece, we were able to share our response to the current crisis of death and disappearance on the US–Mexico border.
Our humanitarian response is situated in an intense geographical area combined with an increasingly hostile political environment towards migrants and refugees. This work exists in the context of a worldwide crisis of forced migration, which is at its highest in decades. Now, more than ever, we need a kinder world for people who have been displaced from their homes.
Since filming, the human remains of 151 migrants were found in Arizona, the highest number in five years. We know this represents only a fraction of the number of deaths—many people who die in the remote borderlands are never found. The unprecedented levels of border enforcement, technology, and walls that already exist have not stopped the deaths or migration. Instead, this enforcement strategy of “prevention through deterrence” has funneled people into even more isolated and dangerous areas. From a humanitarian perspective, it is unacceptable to create immigration and border policies that result in death.
Now is the time to join the movement for migrant justice. We call on people to find ways to engage in their local communities and support work that is linked to ours, especially when that work is organized by communities most affected by the border crisis. The injustices at the border don’t only affect people while they are in the desert. Anywhere migrants are denied their basic rights, are separated from their families, or live in fear because of their legal status, the border is present.
We all have an opportunity to act with bold kindness to resist the walls that serve to separate us from our neighbors. We will continue our work in the Arizona desert until it is no longer needed. What will you do?