While selling CDs at the Farmers Market today I noticed that a couple had a bit of an edge when I approached them. We started talking and the man asked me what it is that we are advocating. I explained that No More Deaths provides humanitarian aid.

•No More Deaths does not encourage undocumented immigration.
•No More Deaths does not “make it easy” for people to enter the country illegally.
•No More Deaths provides humanitarian aid, attempting to eliminate death and suffering.

The man told me that we need to seal the border by placing walls across the entire distance. He believes that we can close the border. I explained what I have come to understand about the wall. I told them about the “funnel effect,” explaining how the US Government’s strategy of “deterrence” (including nearly 700 miles of barrier) essentially forces people who are desperate to cross to pass through dangerous and remote areas. I told him that over 7,000 human remains have been found in the borderlands since 1994. I also told him that I know  people who can climb the wall in 8 seconds. I talked about how NAFTA and CAFTA flooded the Mexican economy with cheap US-subsidized corn. Consequently, the price of corn dropped 75% and millions of Mexican corn farmers, processors and transporters lost the ability to sustain themselves. I asked if it wouldn’t make sense to make it possible for Mexicans and Central Americans in their own countries instead of spending $18 billion per year on enforcement that enriches the border military complex and the for-profit prison industry?

They are afraid of criminals and terrorists entering our country. I pointed out that there have not been any terrorists attacks against the United States by people who entered the country illegally from Mexico. Most terrorists that have attacked the US either came into the country via airplane, or were born here.

I don’t know how many of my arguments they were able to agree with, but ultimately they ended up shaking my hand, thanking me, and making a donation to No More Deaths. In general, we disagree about what should be done, but they also told me that they don’t want people to die in the desert. This is where we found common ground: No human being should die of thirst or exposure in the desert while seeking a better life!

The Border Songs CD Project chose to support No More Deaths because we believe that the conversation needs to start with the humanitarian crisis on our border. The political issues are, unfortunately, so imbricated with corrupt political and economic forces, that our struggle is going to be long and hard. That said, the humanitarian issue is simple: People need water, food, clothing and medical care. No More Deaths (and other humanitarian organizations) provide this aid.

I find it encouraging that this couple made a donation to No More Deaths. People with divergent political viewpoints can find common ground. We’re all human after all . . .

Thank  you for telling everyone you can about Border Songs. Each album purchased puts 29 gallons of water in the desert! http://www.bordersongs.org