LandofOpenGraves.Introduction.pdf - THE LAND OF OPEN GRAVES...

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THE LAND OF OPENGRAVESliving and dying on the migrant trailJason De LeónWith photographs by Michael Wellsuniversity of california press
University of California Press, one of the most distinguisheduniversity presses in the United States, enriches lives around theworld by advancing scholarship in the humanities, social sciences,and natural sciences. Its activities are supported by the UC PressFoundation and by philanthropic contributions from individualsand institutions. For more information, visit .University of California PressOakland, California© 2015 by The Regents of the University of CaliforniaLibrary of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataDe León, Jason, 1977– author.The land of open graves : living and dying on the migrant trail/ Jason De León ; with photographs by Michael Wells.pagescm.— (California series in publicanthropology ; 36)Includes bibliographical references and index.isbn 978-0-520-28274-2 (cloth : alk. paper) —isbn 978-0-520-28275-9 (pbk. : alk. paper) —isbn 978-0-520-95868-5 (ebook)1. Immigration enforcement—Social aspects—Arizona.2. Immigration enforcement—Social aspects—Mexican-American Border Region.3. Border security—Socialaspects—Arizona.4. Border security—Social aspects—Mexican-American Border Region.5. Mexico—Emigrationand immigration.6. United States—Emigration andimmigration—Government policy.I. Title.jv6475.d4 2015325.73—dc232015016328Manufactured in the United States of America2423222120191817161510987654321The paper used in this publication meets the minimumrequirements of ansi/niso z39.48-1992 (r 2002) (Permanenceof Paper).
For Ignacio Cruz,María José,A., N., y W.
But home was a dream, one I’d never seen . . .—Jason Isbell
US-Mexico border near Sasabe, Arizona. Photo by Michael Wells.
Unidentified human remains from the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner.Photo by Michael Wells.
Juan Bosco Shelter, Nogales, Mexico. Photo by Michael Wells.
Migrant campsite near Green Valley, Arizona. Photo by Michael Wells.
Storytelling, 2014. Photo by Michael Wells.
José Tacuri with his sister and niece, Cuenca, Ecuador. Photo by Michael Wells.
1Flies.I mostly remember the goddamn flies.It’s funny how memory works. I made a thousand mental notes of the scene—and wrote a good many of them down soon after the event—but only a couple ofyears later they now seem to be forgotten, buried, reduced to background noise.After spending just a few weeks on the US-Mexico border hanging out with thedesperate people looking to breach America’s immigration defenses, I quicklylearned that death, violence, and suffering are par for the course. It all started toblur together. Disturbing images lost their edge. As an observer, you grow accus-tomed to seeing strangers cry at the drop of a hat. Tears no longer had the impactthey once did. Tragic stories repeatedly told under the strain of a cracking voicetransformed into well-worn hymns that lost their provenience and became diffi-cult to seriate. I fought sensory overload so as to not lose sight of the big picture

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Term
Spring
Professor
Peters
Tags
Canada United States border, United States Border Patrol, Border Patrol

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