25 May 2008

CPT Borderlands Delegation

Just wanted to let any of you who are interested know what I'm up to for the next two weeks. I leave this afternoon, Sunday 25 May, for Tucson. There, I'll meet 11 delegates and my co-leader, Renee, and I'll begin a familiar experience (a CPT delegation) in an unfamiliar role (as a leader). This delegation aims to educate and inspire justice-minded individuals about the injustices and militarization along our border with Mexico.

In Tucson, we will sit in court to experience first hand "Operation Streamline." This legislation has been in effect in parts of Texas and began this year in Tucson. Instead of the previous pattern of "catch and release," immigrants found in the U.S. without proper documentation are now arrested, booked and processed. This results in many immigrants spending a few weeks in jail before their court dates, and jails around the Tucson sector are swamped.

We'll also travel to Douglas, Arizona, to meet with those providing relief services to migrants weary and dehydrated from their trek across the Sonoran desert. The walk from Altar, a popular staging site, takes about 6 days, and it's impossible to carry enough water for the journey. All who walk become dehydrated, some to the point of convulsions and even death. This time of year is particularly deadly as temperatures climb into the 100's. Last year, 238 people died trying to cross the desert. And how many more were never found?

U.S. laws criminalize people, and those who would try to help them. Yet as followers of Christ, we know that no human being is illegal. Keep posted for updates on this journey, as we open our eyes to the strangers in our midst and how they are treated. (for more details on CPT delegations, check out our website.

"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for in so doing, some have entertained angels unawares."