With summer approaching and the death count of migrant bodies found on the Mexico-Sonoran border in the high 80s according to the watchdog group Derechos Humanos, there may be no better time for Margaret Regan, author of The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands to be visiting the Phoenix area.
The Tucson Weekly journalist will be at Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe this May 3 at 7 p.m. to discuss her collection of wrenching accounts of border crossers, those who provide humanitarian aid to them, and those who hunt them.
From Border Patrol Agents to volunteers with No More Deaths, who leave water in the desert for migrants, to the migrants themselves, Regan has interviewed them all and walked in their shoes as best as any writer can.
As I discovered when I was reporting my Phoenix New Times cover story "Blood's Thicker Than Water," southern Arizona is home to an intricate network of social justice groups who agitate and advocate on behalf of migrants.
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In places like Tucson, they are well aware of the cost in human lives of a U.S. border policy that forces migrants to traverse the Sonoran desert on their way through Arizona, a phenomenon referred to as "the funnel effect."
Here in Maricopa County, too many are indifferent or outright hostile to the plight of the migrants, even though there is a strong No More Deaths contingent based in Phoenix.
Which is why I'm glad to hear that Regan will be coming to town to sign books and share her reporting with us. In a previous blog post on Regan, I mentioned that I thought it important for her to pay us a visit. Now that she's coming, we all have something to look forward to in May.