A Caravan for help, for information, for closure

COMMENTARY

TUCSON, Arizona -- The Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity is not just like any other protest. Its members are not merely picketing. Its members are not people with a distant idea of the impact of their demands.

Its members are parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends: each participant carries the name and face of an individual, or many individuals, whose lives have been lost, or who have disappeared, in the War on Drugs. Its members are loved ones of the 60,000-plus dead or missing people throughout Mexico over the last six years.

Deportee ministers to migrants with grace, humility

COMMENTARY

NOGALES, Mexico -- On a recent Sunday morning, roughly 30 people squeezed into the Nogales living room of Adan Magdariaga. All were present for the house church service intended to bring together regular worshippers, recently arrived migrants, and humanitarian aid workers with whom Magdariaga has become friends.

Magdariaga was deported from the U.S. in January, following two years of detention in the Eloy Immigration Detention Center, a private prison-like facility run by the Corrections Corporation of America. He had been presented with the option of staying in that facility to continue fighting his immigration removal case, or to accept a deportation and work on the case from Mexico.

His decision found him returning to Mexico, a homeland he had not known since 1975, when he migrated to the United States as a teenager. Upon leaving the detention facility, he carried nothing but a few dollars in his pocket and the clear, plastic bag that held his belongings.

Tougher immigration enforcement ignores the humanitarian needs of migrants

TUCSON, ARIZ. — Every day, the courtroom in the De Concini Federal Courthouse which hosts Operation Streamline is typically full of 70 men and women from various parts of Mexico and Central America. Processed in groups, they are divided up into groups of people who will receive the same sentence. Each group, listening to the proceedings through interpretation headphones, waits its turn to be called in front of the Magistrate. Each person is given a plea bargain that has been created in advance between prosecutors for the U.S. Government, and defense attorneys who have met with each defendant for a few minutes that morning.

Play shows Christ's continuing crucifixion

TUCSON, ARIZ. -- At Most Holy Trinity Parish, the contemporary Good Friday service is more than a tradition: It’s a ministry. For pastor Salvatorian Fr. Bill Remmel, “The Line in the Sand,” a play unveiled on Good Friday 2008, is a depiction of “Christ continuing to be crucified in all his people today.”