Back in 2019 (like today) immigration was one of the most pressing issues in the United States. There was an often-proclaimed humanitarian crisis at the southern border. And, while the Trump administration was implementing a remain in Mexico policy, those who crossed the border faced life threatening heat and long walks. Border Patrol recognized that 283 people died attempting to cross into the US through the desert in 2018. In the calendar year ending in October of 2021, US Customs and Border Protection recorded 568 deaths, over twice as many.
Mari McMenamin Dana Schuerholz Yuko Kodama met the then Executive Director of the immigration non-profit, Border Angels back in November of 2019. The organization supports mobile schools and shelters at the border for migrants waiting for their asylum claims to be processed. They also lead water drops, trips through the desert where volunteers leave jugs of water to help people survive on their journey through the desert. Here’s their story from a water drop in the Sonoran desert.
Producers: Hans Anderson, Mari McMenamin, Yuko Kodama
Photos: Dana Schuerholz and Mari McMenamin