The killing field of Arizona
Pacifica Public Radio [U.S.] aired a piece on the implications of the election of Republican Paul Ryan to speaker of the House of Representatives for U.S. immigration policy. It included commentary by Jason de León, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan and director of the Undocumented Migration Project, a long-term anthropological study of clandestine border crossings between Mexico and the United States. León is author of The Land of Open Graves: Living and Dying on the Migrant Trail. He uses a combination of ethnography, archaeology, linguistics, and forensic science to critique “Prevention through Deterrence,” describing the U.S. border enforcement policy as one that steers migrants to cross in extremely harsh environmental conditions with a high risk of death. According to de Léon, this policy has failed to deter border crossers for two decades while turning the rugged terrain of southern Arizona into a killing field.
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