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Walking “enemy” lines

One artist shares about stepping into the shoes of Mexican migrant workers risking their lives to enter the United States

It took nearly a week for the 65 participants from Mennonite Central Committee and several other organizations to complete the 75-mile walk from Sasabe, Mexico to Tuscon, Ariz., in the grueling summer heat. And though the journey provided only a taste of the true hardships faced by Mexican migrants seeking to cross the border, it did provide an opportunity to call attention to the human rights crisis there and to challenge the prevalent view of migrants as “enemies.”

Since the early 1990s, thousands of migrants have traveled across that stretch of desert, and since 1994, an estimated 4,000 of them have lost their lives following that year’s tightening of border security laws. As a demonstration of solidarity with migrants, the Migrant Trail Walk invited participants to turn in their passports and walk the path “undocumented.” Setting out at as early as 5 a.m., participants prayed for the situation at the border and carried white crosses with the names of people who had died trying to make the passage.

Tim Hoover, an MCC graphic designer, whose work has been featured several times in In Part magazine, took part in the Walk, documenting the journey and the participants who embarked upon it.

For more information on the Migrant Trail walk, visit mcc.org.

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