Best Of The Border (8/26 - 8/30)
Sunday, September 8, 2013
The Rio Grande is the lifeblood of South Texas. Cities and farmers on both sides of its international border depend on its water.
A 70-year-old treaty between the United States and Mexico is supposed to keep the river's water flowing. But in the last three years, Mexico has fallen behind on its end of the deal. That has heightened tensions between the two countries and jeopardized the future of agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley.
"We're down to the bare bottoms of the bucket," said JoJo White, who heads an irrigation district in Mercedes, Texas.
After Arizona enacted SB 1070, a controversial bill that empowered local police to enforce federal immigration law, several states followed Arizona's lead. But California is trying to go in the opposite direction with a bill some have dubbed the 'anti-Arizona' bill.
"Communities like Escondido have seen the brunt of what it means to not have something that protects immigrant families," said Viviana Gonzalez, an activist and undocumented immigrant.
La Bestia (The Beast) is a train known for ferrying Central Americans through Mexico. That train derailed last weekend, killing at least six Hondurans and critically injuring at least 16 others.
Fronteras Desk contributor Lorne Matalon has been on that train and heard terrifying first-hand stories from people who took the risk and hopped on.
"We saw three people die on the train. One was hit by a tree branch, the other was hit by an electric cable and the other was thrown off the train by someone," Honduran immigrant Delcia Ventura Canales said.
Fifty years ago 250,000 people gathered in Washington to rally for jobs and freedom. It was Aug. 28, 1963 that Martin Luther King Jr. went off script and improvised one of the most quoted and memorable speeches in United States history - the "I Have A Dream" speech.
To commemorate the famous march and speech thousands of people gathered this week at the National Mall - many of them immigration rights activists seizing the opportunity to bring attention to immigration reform.
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