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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trails of Skeletons of Illegal Immigrants in Texas- Where are the Pro-Life Posters?

As Texas closes women health clinics, for fear they provide poor women with health care which might include medically safe abortions, the state legislators who passed this bill might think about recycling those anti-abortion signs.

When Pro-Life zealots stand in self righteous rage outside of women's health clinics, I wonder if they would consider loaning those "choose life" anti-abortion signs to the Texas fields cluttered with skeletons.  Those signs are just as relevant where many skeletons are being collected, the remains of illegal immigrants, who just didn't make it to a safe place.  Apparently, these unfortunately dead immigrants are leaving their skeletal bones littering the Texas geography like animal carcasses after a forest fire.  Yet, where are the "choose life" advocates, to help protect the lives of innocent people, who are just trying to find their way out of poverty and oppressive governments? The bones of these once humans are just as precious as the babies the anti-abortion activists are trying to save with signage and protests.

"They are excavating the bodies --dozens so far..." ABC News

In 2011, Chief Deputy Benny Martinez and his team recovered 129 bodies, and this year he said he expects the death toll to double.

Following a Trail of Skeletons and Trying to Identify Them

As illegal border crossings have shifted from Arizona to Texas, the surging tide can be measured with grisly markers -- a growing number of skeletal remains being recovered and interred in unmarked graves.

For many the covert trip through Brooks County, 70 miles from the Rio Grande Valley border crossing, has become a death trap of temperatures in the triple digits, thick mesquite brush and sand that is a foot deep in places.

While Congress struggles to fashion a reform of the immigration law that could include more officers to patrol the border, a Baylor University professor and her students have taken on the grim task that no one else has tackled -- identifying the dead.

They are excavating the bodies --dozens so far -- cleaning them down to the bones and preparing them for DNA in an attempt to put names to the bodies and reunited them with their families.

With no identification on them, not even a country of origin, the Baylor team plans to use forensic science to gain profiles of the dead. That information will be entered into a national database with the hope that it will help families of the missing know what happened.

Terrain Offers 'Good Concealment' But At A Risk

Miles before the only U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Brooks County, located in Falfurrias, Texas, undocumented immigrants are often dropped off by smugglers and left to circumvent authorities by cutting through private ranches, knee-deep sand and thick brush.

"The constant walking and the vegetation being the way it is, it's good for concealment and hard to extract them," said Chief Deputy Benny Martinez of the Brooks County Sheriff's Office.

The biggest indicator of the flow of undocumented immigrants into the United States, the number of apprehensions at the Mexican border, has steadily declined, with 356,873 cases reported in 2012, compared with 1,649,884 in 2000.

These declining numbers of illegal crossing don't take into account the individuals, the faces of the many who are risking their lives. We'll never know how many of them or identify them.  This anonymity shelters us from having to put a face and tragic story to each  body.  It's not dignified or fair for them to be simply put in a plastic bag, like a science experiment and moved to a morgue and possibly placed in paupers graves.  

Americans are a nation built entirely on the genious and creativity of immigrants.  To deny others the same opportunities as our own ancestors shared is plain wrong and hypocritical.  

Nevertheless, right wing extremists who believe illegal immigrants aren't worthy of being Americans are just as likely to be anti-abortion zealots.  I can't explain the cause and effect, but the correlation is evident among those who share right wing ideologies. Therefore, I'd like somebody to explain why the right wing obsession against abortion doesn't translate into a similar outrage against leaving dead bodies littering Texas, the remains of illegal immigrants who won't get a chance to start a new life.  

  • Protecting life means just that.
  • Protecting life means opposing the death penalty.
  • Protecting life means supporting those who are at the end of their life, allowing them to experience a natural death.
  • Protecting life means allowing illegal immigrants to live, rather than die,  to live in freedom and provide them a path to American citizenship.
  • Protecting life means providing preventive health care to all women, so they are never in a position to need an abortion.
  • Protecting life means providing all people with  access to quality and affordable health care.
It's a terrible statement about our nation's lack of respect for life, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, to have teams of people carting off human skeletons in Texas, as though the bodies are road kill.  Those who support the pro-life movement should find another location in Texas for the signs they won't be needing now that abortion clinics are being closed.  

No sense letting these signs go to waste.  They're badly needed by dying immigrants who are desperately trying to start a new life.

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