Campus / National / News / February 18, 2009

Students Without Borders travels to Arizona to aid immigrants

Students Without Borders is a club focused on social justice, especially in Latin America, and will be sponsoring a spring break trip to Tucson, Arizona with the intention of providing aid to those crossing the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

The club will be working with a Unitarian organization called No More Deaths, No Más Muertes. Knox students will join other volunteers in providing assistance to those crossing the border regardless of their legal status; an activity that junior Vicky Daza assured is completely legal. The idea is not to help immigrants cross the border, but to keep them from dying of dehydration. Volunteers will be camping in the desert, hiking eight to twelve miles per day to provide food, water and first aid.

Registration to go to Arizona, which Students Without Borders opened up to all of campus, closed on February 11th. Over sixty students contacted co-presidents Daza and senior Mary Lou Villanueva to express interest in joining the trip. More than thirty students were prepared to travel, but due to capacity restraints with the sponsoring organization, only twenty-three will be going. They are all very excited.

In registering for the trip, students paid a $20 deposit. Students Without Borders will be fundraising, and asking for co-sponsorship to help cover the costs of the trip. No More Deaths charges $20 a day per person; the money goes towards medical supplies.

Those crossing the border do so for different reasons. Some are illegal immigrants coming to America, while many are deportees who have been forced to walk home. The overarching commonality is that they are not likely to be legal. As Daza framed it, “If they were legal immigrants, they probably wouldn’t be risking their lives to cross the desert.”

In traveling down to the border the student volunteers hope to make a difference. Villanueva said that Students Without Borders wants to “understand someone else’s reality.”

Charles Ely

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