Migrant Trail 2019

Registration for Migrant Trail 2019 will begin on March 16th!

The Migrant Trail is a 75-mile walk from Sasabe, Sonora to Tucson, Arizona. The Migrant Trail 2019 begins on May 27th and arrives on June 2nd. Participants who will be joining us for the entire week are required to attend the mandatory orientation on Sunday, May 26th. Please make your travel plans accordingly. 

Registration Fees:

Full week participants: March 15- May 10: $75 – $200 sliding scale
First/last day participants:  $10/day recommended donation

Cancellation Policy:
Due to administrative costs associated with the Migrant Trail, the following refund policy is now in place for cancellations:
Cancellations before May 1st: $20 non-refundable fee will be retained
Cancellations from May 1-21: $35 non-refundable fee will be retained
Cancellations after May 21st: no refund

Click HERE to register.

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Arizona Migrant Trail Participants Demand an End to the Separation of Families by U.S. Border and Immigration Policies

Dear Migrant Trail participant,

As the nation witnesses the cruelty of the current administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy, we are reaching out to those who have walked and supported The Migrant Trail in these past 15 years to call for your action. The indefinite separation of children from their mothers and fathers is the harshest and most callous aspect of this policy. We join in the outrage expressed nationwide by U.S. citizens, religious leaders, and political leaders sympathetic to migrants seeking safety from violence for their families.

Below please find a collective statement of resistance followed by four actions you might consider: contacting your elected officials, taking direct action, reaching out to media, and making donations. We have also compiled links to some excellent organizations and resources.

Witnessing this level of suffering and atrocity can feel overwhelming and paralyzing. We hope that these ideas will help you to continue your invaluable engagement on these issues. We invite you to share the statement, information, and calls to action.

In Solidarity,

Migrant Trail 2018 Organizing Committee

Arizona Migrant Trail Participants Demand an End to the Separation of Families by U.S. Border and Immigration Policies

For fifteen years, people of conscience have come together to participate in The  Migrant Trail, a 75-mile, week-long journey from the border in Sásabe, Sonora, to Tucson, Arizona, to bear witness to and call for an end to the deadly and inhumane policies of the U.S. government against migrants and border communities. The detention of (im)migrant families, the separation of parents and children, and the criminalization of border crossersincluding those seeking asylumare but the latest practices unleashed by the U.S. government to further dehumanize and torture immigrants and asylum-seekers in what is now a humanitarian crisis spanning more than two decades. The Migrant Trail has served as an act of solidarity and witness, recognizing the effects of border policies and the human rights violations that have ensued.

Since the mid-1990s, the United States has actively engaged in “Prevention through Deterrence” policies, attempting to discourage immigrants and asylum-seekers from entering the U.S. by making acts of migration so punishing that they are, by virtue of the dangers and hardships of the process, often lethal. However, these deterrence policies have failed in their mission, in large part because they do not address the root causes forcing men, women, and children to seek opportunity or refuge outside their home countries. Moreover, they fail to acknowledge or recognize the role that U.S. policies in Mexico, Central America, and South America have played in creating instability and poverty, particularly for Indigenous and agriculturally based communities. It is well-documented that the U.S. government has known since the inception of these policies that “Prevention through Deterrence” will not work, as it is not a holistic solution. (See: https://afgj.org/death-as-deterrence-the-desert-as-a-weapon & https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/16/us/politics/family-separation-trump.html)

Over the past 20 years, the U.S. has built more than 650 miles of border walls, funneling migration into increasingly hostile, dangerous, and deadly areas. The result is the documented deaths of more than 7,000 men, women, and children along the U.S.-Mexico border. These numbers reflect the individuals whose remains have been recovered. The true human casualty is not known, and it is believed to be much higher. Border communities have decried these deadly policies and called for change since their implementation, but instead the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border has expanded astronomically.

Participants and organizers of the Migrant Trail call on all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with our migrant sisters and brothers and demand that the U.S. government end practices and policies that separate families and cause migrant deaths.  

We who have walked the Migrant Trail have done so to bear witness to the deaths on the border and the tragedy of injustice in our midst. We walk in full recognition of the privileges that allow us to travel and return home safely. We must acknowledge the inhumanity of separating children from their parents, of denying asylum-seekers the opportunity to present their cases before a court, and the irreversible damage that is done to individuals already traumatized and seeking refuge. According to Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), who recently visited a children’s detention facility in Texas, the government does not have a central documentation system to ensure children will be reunited with parents. Instead, it appears that parents have been given no documentation or information about the whereabouts of their children, as well as no direction for locating them once they are released and/or deported. It is abhorrent to us, as Americans, to know that these atrocities are being committed in our names and with our tax dollars. This injustice must not be allowed to stand. We will stand in solidarity and resistance until these wrongs are made right.


Suggestions for Taking Action:

Contact elected officials: Given the high volume of calls being received by representatives, we recommend you email your elected officials. We also recommend you request that they contact you regarding your message, either on the email page or in the text of your message. Attend a Town all meeting where available.

Find your representatives: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov

Find your Attorney General: http://www.naag.org/naag/attorneys-general/whos-my-ag.php

Text “Resist” to 50409. ResistBot will prompt you to enter your address, then you can enter a message that will be faxed to one or all of your congressional representatives. The attraction of using ResistBot to fax is that it creates a paper trail that must be documented, which is more disruptive to our representatives.

Participate in direct actions and events:

  • On June 30th, there will be protests in many cities throughout the U.S. Follow “Families Belong Together” and note that some cities will have protests that might not be listed. Visit https://www.familiesbelongtogether.org/ for information about actions/events near you.
  • Appeal to individual border patrol agents to stand-down. The ACLU has stated that individual border patrol agents are not legally bound to separate families. We can appeal to the humanity of each individual agent to refuse to separate families.
  • From “FreeTheChildren”: Due to concerns about the safety and well-being of the children detained in these facilities, we do not recommend taking any action directed at the facilities. Experts in law and child welfare with knowledge of the SKP facilities have advised this plan of action. The children are already victimized. We don’t want to add further pain to their ordeal by 1) scaring them; or 2) forcing the removal of the children to less safe detention centers that are not equipped to properly care for them, like federal detention centers or tent internment camps. Please inform your networks to spread this message

Reach out to local media and your communities:

  • Part of our commitment to justice for immigrants is to share the stories of the border far and wide, into communities that do not know the realities of the borderlands, immigration, and seeking asylum. This moment presents an opportunity to share your Migrant Trail experience with your local media. Feel free to use the Migrant Trail statement here and suggested op-ed ideas in the Migrant Trail welcome packet.
  • Many walkers have also shared their stories with churches and community organizations in their local communities. Please consider doing the same; your personal story may generate a deeper sense of compassion about and commitment to this issue among your community members.
  • On social media, consider adding any or all of the following hashtags to your social media posts: #FreeTheChildren #FamiliesBelongTogether #FreedomForImmigrants #ShutDownICE #DecriminalizeMigration #AbolishICE

E. Donate to local organizations: There are many organizations providing assistance to migrants,  immigrants, and families separated by these policies. Here are a few suggestions:

  • The Florence Project | https://firrp.org: provides free legal support to the children detained by the U.S. government
  • RAICES Texas | https://www.raicestexas.org: provides free legal services for detained separated parents and the direct funding for bonds to get parents released
  • Families Belong Together | https://www.familiesbelongtogether.org: contributions will support the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which organizes domestic workers in the U.S. for respect, recognition, and labor standards and is a leader in the campaign to protect separated families
  • Keep Tucson Together Immigration Clinic | http://forms.nomoredeaths.org/donate-money : All volunteer clinic working in Tucson, Douglas and Nogales to prevent deportations of those in deportation proceedings. Also working at Nogales port with Tucson and Green Valley Samaritans to provide orientation to asylum seekers. (earmark donation for KTT)

Additional information and action: There are a number of organizations and news outlets that have also put together “take action” lists and talking points. Find out more from these outlets:

American Friends Service Committee | https://www.afsc.org

Mennonite Central Committee | https://mcc.org/get-involved/advocacy/alert/end-family-detention-separation

WOLA | https://www.wola.org/2018/06/5-ways-can-help-stop-trumps-cruelty-migrant-children-hateful-policies-today/

The  Huffington Post |  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-gleason-help-end-family-separation_us_5b2a4c34e4b05d6c16c9688c

Truth Out | https://truthout.org/articles/how-to-stop-child-separation-stop-sending-their-parents-to-prison/

Educate yourself: The systematic dehumanization and criminalization of immigrants did not start with the Trump administration. Bill Clinton first introduced the idea of “Prevention through Deterrence” in 1994 (https://afgj.org/death-as-deterrence-the-desert-as-a-weapon). And this new “Zero Tolerance” policy (note: not a law), which makes seeking asylum a federal crime, has been labeled an extension of the Deterrence policy (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/16/us/politics/family-separation-trump.html).

Attend Operation Streamline proceedings: For those in Tucson, Del Rio, or Laredo border patrol sectors, you can attend hearings to protest this practice and stand in solidarity (https://derechoshumanosaz.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/End-Streamline-Take-Action-flyer-FINAL-1.pdf).

Follow the Free the Children Coalition

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/FreeTheChildrenCoalition/

On Twitter: @FreeChildrenAZ

And use the #FreeTheChildren hashtag every time you write anything on social media. Let’s keep it trending!

In Tucson: Pick up a t-shirt at PopCycle (422 N. 4th Avenue) after Wednesday and wear it to Pima County Supes meetings and Operation Streamline hearings to show that we do not support the criminalization of migrants. Shirts are $20 and 100% of proceeds go to the Free the Children Coalition’s work.

In Arizona: Get in touch with the Arizona State Democratic Legislators and ask what you can do to support the efforts of checking in on the children. Though the well-being of children in the state of Arizona is the responsibility of the state, Southwest Key Program is a Texas-based company, and Arizona’s legislators are being told that the welfare of the kids in our internment camp (on Speedway & Oracle) is the responsibility of the state of Texas. https://www.azleg.gov/findmylegislator/

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2018 Press Release

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2018
Contact: Jamie Wilson, English and Spanish (520) 730-2665
E-mail: azmigranttrail@gmail.com
Website: https://azmigranttrail.com

15th Annual Migrant Trail Walk: 15 Years of Bearing Witness to Migrant Deaths

Press Conference
Monday, May 28, 2018
10:00 AM

Southside Presbyterian Church
317 W. 23rd Street
Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, AZ—For the 15th consecutive year, more than 50 people will embark on a week-long, 75-mile walk from Sásabe, Sonora, Mexico to Tucson, Arizona to call for an end to migrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Since the 1990s, more than 7,000 men, women and children are known to have lost their lives crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Their deaths are a direct result of flawed U.S. border and immigration policies that have intentionally diverted migration into more isolated and desolate terrains of the Sonoran desert. The remains of 58 people have been recovered in Southern Arizona since October, 2017. During fiscal year 2016-2017, 147 remains were recovered, according to the Office of the Medical Examiner for Pima County. In 2017, 412 migrant deaths were recorded along the entirety of the U.S.-Mexico Border.

This year’s Migrant Trail Walk is happening in the midst of increasing national efforts by the U.S. administration to dramatically expand policing, technology, and infrastructure in the Southwest borderlands, including building additional border walls. The walk also calls attention to the increasing enforcement in the interior of the United States, where raids and roundups of undocumented people are tearing families apart and instilling fear in our communities.

As the summer approaches, and Arizona temperatures are already reaching searing triple-digits, the number of migrants who will perish from dehydration and exposure dramatically increases. Participants of the Migrant Trail undertake this yearly trek to call attention and demand a stop to these tragic and preventable deaths.

“Every year I walk the Migrant Trail I hope it is the last one. Every day after the walk I hope that our government will end the brutal inhumane policies that result in thousands of innocent people dying in our borderlands. Alas, the militarization of our borders continues and intensifies every day. Instead of using our valuable resources to improve people’s health, education and well-being, the strongest and wealthiest country in the world wastes these resources on building walls, fences and other forms of militarization which result in killing innocent people and torturing our environment and our people in the borderlands,” said Tucson resident Mohyeddin Abdulaziz, who has walked for over a decade with the group

In May 2004, the first group of walkers initiated The Migrant Trail: We Walk for Life, coinciding with the formation of the No Más Muertes/No More Deaths movement. It has grown to be a multinational endeavor of allies who hail from diverse regions, faith backgrounds, ages, and ethnicities and walk together in solidarity with our migrant friends and their families to demand an end to migrant deaths on the border. People from all over the U.S., Europe and Latin America have participated in the walk over the years. The youngest person to complete the entire walk was 7, the oldest 80.

“For the fifteenth year, we stand in solidarity with migrants and their families. We demand an end to the tragic deaths, to the militarization, to the division of communities along the U.S.-Mexico border,” says Kat Rodriguez, who has helped to organize the walk since its inception in 2004. “Thousands of men, women, and children have died avoidable deaths. Our untenable border policies funnel them year after year into the most hostile and desolate areas of the Sonoran Desert. This can and must be stopped.”

More than 20 community sponsor organizations from across the United States, Mexico, and Canada are supporting this year’s annual walk. A full list of sponsors is available here: https://azmigranttrail.com/2017-sponsors/.

The Migrant Trail will begin Monday, May 28th at 2:00pm in Sásabe, Sonora. Carpools depart at 10:45 am from Southside Presbyterian (317 W. 23rd Street) immediately following the press conference in Tucson. The walkers arrive on Sunday, June 3rd at 11:30 am to Kennedy Park, Ramada #3, for a closing ceremony. The Migrant Trail is a non-violent, family-friendly event, and is free and open to the community.
Participants and organizers of the Migrant Trail call on all people of conscience to stand in solidarity with our migrant sisters and brothers and call on the U.S. government to end practices and policies that cause migrant deaths.


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Join the Migrant Trail for the first and/or last day!

We invite you to register for the first and/or last day of the Migrant Trail. Although registering is not required, it helps us tremendously for food and logistics purposes.  See below for the details of each day.

Click HERE to register for the first and/or last day.

Monday, May 28, 2018:

There will be a press conference to kick off the Migrant Trail at 10:00am at Southside Presbyterian (317 W. 23rd Street) in Tucson, Arizona. We will be carpooling from Southside Church at 10:45am to Sásabe, Arizona immediately following the press conference. We need help to carpool our participants down to the border, so we would appreciate any spare room you might have in your car!

Once in Sásabe, we will be crossing the border into Sonora (cars will be parked on the Arizona side of the border). We will be having lunch with community members in Sásabe, Sonora, followed by a blessing ceremony to begin the Migrant Trail. We will walk one mile on the México side, have a short ceremony at the border wall, then cross back into the U.S. on foot and continue an additional five miles on the Arizona side of the border. We will then transport drivers back to their vehicles at the border.


A few reminders:
1) Wear sunscreen
2) Wear a hat!
3) Cover up!
4) Bring water!
5) Wear appropriate footwear (open-toed shoes are not recommended)

Sunday, June 3, 2018:

If you plan to walk with us the final day:
We will be departing from the BLM campsite located at the northwest corner of Ajo Way and San Joaquin Road at 7:15am. We will be walking single-file along Ajo Road.

A few reminders:
1) Wear sunscreen
2) Wear a hat!
3) Cover up!
4) Bring water!
5) Wear appropriate footwear (open-toed shoes are not recommended)

If you plan to welcome us at Kennedy Park:
We will be arriving to the park at approximately 11:30am to Ramada #3, located behind the Mission Library at the northwest corner of Ajo Way and Mission Road. Upon arrival, we will have a short press conference, followed by music, food and celebration.

We look forward to walking with you this year! Please contact us at azmigranttrail@gmail.com if you have any questions or need additional information.

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Our Vision

The precarious reality of our borderlands calls us to walk. We are a spiritually diverse, multi-cultural group who walk together on a journey of peace to remember people, friends and family who have died, others who have crossed, and people who continue to come. We bear witness to the tragedy of death and of the inhumanity in our midst. Lastly, we make this sacred journey as a community, in defiance of the borders that attempt to divide us, committed to working together for the human dignity of all peoples.

La realidad precaria de nuestra frontera nos hace un llamado a caminar. Somos un grupo diverso en cultura y espíritu quienes caminamos juntos en una jornada de paz para recordar a nuestros compañeros, amigos y familiares: los que han muerto, los que han cruzado, y quienes continúan cruzando. Testificamos acerca de la tragedia de muerte e inhumanidad en nuestro medio. Finalmente, en comunidad, emprendemos un sendero sagrado en contra de estas fronteras que intentan dividirnos, comprometidos a luchar juntos por la dignidad de todos.

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