Band Calexico to play border crossing death awareness benefit concert in City of Calexico
July 6, 2004 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Benefit Concert: Calexico in Calexico. The band Calexico will play for the first time ever in the City of Calexico July 9th in a benefit concert promoting border crossing death awareness. Since the U.S. Border Patrol began to document these deaths in 1999, over 2000 illegal immigrants have died in search of a new life in the United States. Calexico, formed by Joey Burns and John Convertino, will donate all proceeds to a non-profit organization supporting humanity.
posted by labotsirc (10 comments total)
Nice post. I'm partial to The Black Light myself.
posted by the fire you left me at 10:32 AM on July 6, 2004

A benefit for raising awareness for illegal immigrant border crossing casualties? Should we also raise awareness for burglars who injure themselves while breaking into our houses? Or identity thieves who get writer's cramp while forging checks?
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:35 AM on July 6, 2004

Except for the fact, Oriole, that all the border states' economies are dependant on the the illegals for their cheap labor.
Just take a peek in any CA or TX restaurant's kitchen.
Do you really think it would be so hard for the country with the largest army in the world to close its border?
posted by signal at 10:56 AM on July 6, 2004

Yay for Calexico! They really capture the sound of the Sonora desert pretty nicely.

As for you, Oriole, I suspect that you say that facetiously, as the issue is a bit more complex than that. Burglars and checkwriters, they're impacting individual people in a direct and negative way. Most immigrants -- even the illegal ones -- just want to make a better life for themselves and their families. They hardly deserve to die a horrible death in the desert for that crime.

It's time that people started talking seriously (and realistically) about illegal immigration. Obviously, this is a big issue for those of us that live near the border, but it seems to be picking up steam nationally. Personally, I think the guest worker program is a step in the right direction, but we shall see...
posted by ph00dz at 10:57 AM on July 6, 2004

It is a big problem that the US doesn't have a coherent border policy. Either make a real border, or let everyone in! The half-ass approach right now is awful for everyone, and leads to hardened positions on both sides of the debate.
posted by chaz at 12:01 PM on July 6, 2004

I don't agree that everyone who is currently not a US citizen should be allowed to enter the country without documentation, but no one deserves to die simply because they are seeking a better life.

I know many people who are children of illegal immigrants, but they were born in the USA after their parents crossed. Many of these same people are now productive US citizens with high positions in local government and successful entrepreneurs. The majority of these people have now had offspring who many are top students at local schools and many have or are going into a college or university. They are not a waste of space or resources.

I've personally witnessed border patrol agents beat on illegal immigrants with batons in downtown Calexico. I was a child when I witnessed this, so I didn't know how to react or call attention to it.

In fact, I have a friend who just returned from fighting for our country in Iraq who almost lost his life, but is still alive simply out of luck. It was his birthday and a fellow soldier asked him to stay at the base to enjoy his special day and he would cover his post. This soldier never returned to back to base because he was killed by an enemy rocket.

Anyway, this same friend of mine was picked up by border patrol agents in front of the Calexico police department when he was in middle school minutes before curfew. They "confused" him with an "illegal" and took him out to the country and completely beat the shit out of him. He kept his story secret out of fear, but his wounds were public.

I believe, for these same reasons, that illegal immigrants take the risks they do for a better life. Out of fear, even though times may have changed with these federal agencies. They just want a better life... to do the jobs that no one does... but we claim we want.
posted by labotsirc at 1:54 PM on July 6, 2004

The half-ass approach right now is awful for everyone

Except for employers, who get dirt-cheap labor without having to pay benefits, taxes, etc., and consumers, who get cheap services.
With a guest-worker-like program in place, the gringos would still get cheap labor (though not as cheap) and the mexicans would still be able to send dollars home.
Problem is, when the guest-workers start demanding rights, or their kids do, the right wingers will start agitating about "america for americans", like what's happening with Turks and Arabs in Europe right now.
posted by signal at 3:11 PM on July 6, 2004

They just want a better life...

They can get a better life by either working hard in the country where they have citizenship, or by legally immigrating to the United States. There is no other option, and there should be no sympathy whatsoever for anyone who purposefully and flagrantly violates the immigration laws of the country in which they intent to live illegally, regardless of situation.
posted by hama7 at 3:14 PM on July 6, 2004

So are you saying that you have no sympathy for those who die in the crossing? That they deserved to die?

I mean, if that's how you feel, that's how you feel, but it's pretty fucking heartless.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:50 PM on July 6, 2004

My parents were illegal Mexican immigrants and so was most of my extended family. The laws really don't matter when it's a life and death issue, it's that simple.

My family's old town in Mexico is dying; all the able-bodied men have worked in America to pay for their families to be brought over. The few that remain stay alive by virtue of the money being sent back from the U.S. My home used to be a somewhat frequent stopping place for relatives and family friends after their trip across.

The above may scare the hell out of some, and even I get worried about the "invasion" once in a while, though for different reasons. I'd rather not have the Mexican and Mexican-American community be even more of an underclass than it already is, and an endless wave of new immigrants doesn't help mobilize the community much. But the reality remains that immigrants are coming over, whether Americans like it or not. Unless there is a massive military defense of the border funded by billions of tax payer dollars and kept in place for decades, I don't see how it can be stopped, if that's what some people want.

(And you know what, I'm glad my parents came over because there's no way I would have had the same opportunities in Mexico than I have had here. I'm pretty sure most anti-immigration people would be singing a different tune if they were born in a third world country with a wealthy nation right across the border.)
posted by lychee at 5:29 PM on July 6, 2004

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