Pro-illegal-immigration activists protest Border Patrol announcement
March 31, 2005, 08:10 AM CST

Not everyone in Southern Arizona is impressed with the federal government's announcement Wednesday in Tucson to add more agents along the Arizona border.

Human rights advocates protested in front of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. The protestors included volunteers from Derechos Humanos who spent the day saying the reassignment of agents simply sideswipes the real problem at hand.

"Adding more agents and adding more technology to the border is not going to stop immigration. We need to fix our broken legislation," says Dulce Ruelas, from Derechos Humanos.

"What they're claiming, like last year, is that the Arizona Border Control Initiative will diminish deaths, when they know full well what these initiatives have done is funnel people into the most dangerous areas," says Isabel Garcia, also from Derechos Humanos.

Those are the feelings among protestors standing in front of lines of white crosses, symbolizing illegal immigrants who have lost their lives in the desert. The protestors say the problem is not a lack of Border Patrol agents, but instead, a lack of money for Mexicans at home.

"When you're hungry, you're going to put your life on the line to come and try to get a good job to provide for your family," says Maria Carrasco. Ruelas says, "Nobody wants to leave their own country, they need the money to support their families. It's because of necessity they need to come here."

Protestor Susan Thorpe questions, "Corporations can travel, capital can travel, but labor cannot?"

This as Garcias adds, "Yet hypocritical policy puts them through a deadly obstacle course, in order to come wash our plates, pick our fruits, pluck our chickens, and cut our meat."

Bill Bennett from the Minuteman Project in Tombstone says the new policy simply means more of the same, overworked Border Patrol agents along the Arizona border.

Many argue the announcement of more agents does not mean 500 new Border Patrol gents, instead it is simply a reassignment of agents from other areas.

Now, the concern for many is what will happen to those border regions as a result of this move.