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ACLU Partners With Mexican Human Rights Commission to Protect Migrants

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

The ACLU and Mexico’s Commission on Human Rights have pledged to work together to protect migrants' human rights along the U.S.-Mexico border. The groups say they'll challenge Operation Gatekeeper and other federal programs that put migrants' lives in danger. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Operation Gatekeeper is the federal government's attempt to stem the flow of illegal immigrants in San Diego in the mid-1990s.

The government built miles of border fencing and beefed up the Border Patrol.

Illegal traffic in San Diego dropped. But people continued to cross in more dangerous areas. Deaths soared.

Kevin Keenan is Executive Director of the ACLU in San Diego . He says the problem is not going away.

Keenan : The fence keeps getting larger. Deaths have increased. And so it is incumbent on us to try again to figure out how to stop this inhumane waste of life.

The ACLU and Mexico’s Human Rights Commission plan to meet in June to determine how they'll challenge Gatekeeper.

Meanwhile, the U.S. federal government plans to build 470 more miles of border fencing by the end of the year.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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