Photo: Humane Borders Organization
With the aim of saving the lives of undocumented migrants who venture into the Arizona desert during the summer, the Humane Borders organization will install five new water stations in the areas through which the greatest flows of immigrants pass.
“These stations will be placed near the Cabeza Prieta refuge, because we have noted that the deaths are being registered ... in the western zone,” Juanita Molina, the executive director of the Tucson-based group, told Efe.
With the new stations, the group will have a total of 50 along the border between Arizona and Mexico.
The majority of the deaths of undocumented immigrants reported along the Arizona border occur mainly during the summer when temperatures easily exceed 110 F (43 C).
The lack of shade to protect people from the intense heat and walking for days without having sufficient water is a deadly combination for immigrants.
With an eye on saving lives, Humane Borders brings approximately 200 gallons of drinking water per week to the Mexican populations of Nogales and Sasabe, where two stations are located.
“We need a budget of approximately $10,000 per month to operate during the summer. This includes the expenses connected with ... the trucks we use to transport the water,” Molina said.
The desert along the Arizona-Mexico border is approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) long and 100 kilometers (62 miles) wide.
The U.S. Border Patrol blames traffickers of undocumented migrants, known as “coyotes,” for the immigrants’ deaths, noting that the smugglers do not hesitate to abandon migrants to their fate if they get sick or cannot continue with the desert crossing.
During the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, the Border Patrol has reported finding 53 bodies along the frontier compared with 89 last year.