We are your friends and neighbors.
We believe that providing aid to
another human being in distress is a fundamental human value, and that
there should be no more deaths in our desert. We look forward to the day
when our assistance is not needed.
Green Valley, Arizona is just 40 miles from the border, in 1853 Gadsden
Purchase country. At the border, Nogales, Arizona faces Nogales,
Sonora, Mexico, but Ambos―both―Nogales are very different. Just
like their countries.
Today, migrants escaping high unemployment in Mexico and Central America
slip north―mostly on foot―across that border, desperate to find work and
new lives. Powered by hope, generally uninformed, they walk toward great
hardship and often death.
Three years ago, a loose coalition of Green Valley men and women came
together to give humanitarian aid to migrants in distress. Mainly retired
professionals of varying backgrounds and beliefs, they called themselves
the Green Valley Samaritans, following the example of the Tucson
Why is our work necessary?
Our country's need for
workers, coupled with high unemployment in Mexico and Central America,
has encouraged many "economic migrants" to enter the United States
illegally in order to support their families.
According to the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce, our country depends on migrants for about 5% of
our workforce. Though this figure may not seem high, the work is
concentrated in certain regions and industries that would be
devastated without such workers. The U.S. Border Patrol
reports that these workers make up 90% of illegal entrants into our
country. Among the entrants are more women and children, risking their
lives by traveling north to join their families and look for work.
Current Border Patrol expansion, supplemented by the U.S. National
Guard, has had the effect of driving migrants farther into remote
desert areas, increasing the risk of death.
Immigration issues are huge and complex. They are not likely to be
resolved soon. Meanwhile, the death rate increases, averaging more
than 20 per month in 2007, well ahead of last year.