Press Release 2017

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2017
Contact: Olivia Mena, English and Spanish (210) 723-0975

14th Annual Migrant Trail Walk: Calling to
End Migrant Deaths on the U.S.- Mexico Border
Press Conference
Monday, May 29, 2017
10:00 AM
317 W. 23rd Street
Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, AZ—For the 14th consecutive year, approximately 60 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 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 94 people have been recovered in Southern Arizona since the beginning of this fiscal year, according to the Office of the Medical Examiner for Pima County.

This year’s Migrant Trail Walk is happening in the midst of increasing national efforts by the new U.S. administration to dramatically expand border policing, technology, and infrastructure in the Southwest borderlands, and its proposal to build a new border wall to further seal the border with Mexico, and target minority groups’ ability to travel to the United States. The walk also calls attention 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 enter into the 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 demand a stop to these 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 would 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

“I participate in the Migrant Trail with a lot of pain and a lot of joy. Pain because I walk thinking of all the thousands of innocent brothers and sisters who lost their life in my neighborhood just because they wanted to provide food and clothing for their families. And joy because I walk with so many people of conscience from all over the world who refuse to remain silent, who dare to speak and walk to expose the brutal policies that cause death and destruction in our borderlands,” said Abdulaziz.

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.

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:

The Migrant Trail will begin Monday, May 29th at 2:00pm in Sásabe, Sonora. Carpools will depart at 10:45 am from Southside Presbyterian (317 W. 23rd Street) immediately following the press conference in Tucson. The walkers will arrive on Sunday, June 4th 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.


Migrant Trail 2017 Sponsors

The following are the sponsors for the 2017 Migrant Trail. We are grateful for the diverse support we have, which makes the Migrant Trail possible.

The Tucson Peace Center
Border Patrol Victims Network
Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalists Fellowship
Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalists Fellowship Immigration Justice Task Force
Coalicion de Derechos Humanos
Colibrí Center for Human Rights
Community of Christ of the Desert
Elise Elliott Undergraduate Enrichment Fund, Pacific University
Franciscans For Justice
Frontera de Cristo
Guardian Angels Catholic Community
Humane Borders
Just Coffee, Inc.
Mennonite Central
Migrant Worker Solidarity
No More Deaths – No Más
Pima Monthly Meeting Religious Society of
Salvatorians, Southwest Region
School Sisters of Notre Dame
Shalom Mennonite Fellowship
Southside Presbyterian Church
Tucson Samaritans
University Presbyterian Church
Wat Buddhametta and Tucson Buddhist Meditation Center

Individual Sponsors:
Deb Gardiner
Pablo Toral