Monday, April 24, 2006

Serving uprooted people on 2 sides of Rio Grande

An interesting article about the Maryknoll Border Mission which works to meet migrants' needs, both humanitarian and spiritual.

Also here are some interesting facts from the site:

The border between the United States and Mexico is 1,952 miles long, with 1,254 miles formed by the Rio Grande.

About 70 miles of the border is fenced.

* In the Border Area, 62.5 miles wide on each side, about 60 percent of the more than 10.5 million people live on the U.S. side.

* U.S.-Mexican trade amounted to $235 billion in 2003. Maquiladoras, foreign-owned factories set up in Mexico to take advantage of cheap labor, employed 1.1 million workers in 2,800 plants in 2004.

* About 800,000 undocumented migrants enter the United States each year, and an estimated 10.3 million are living in the country.

* The U.S. Border Patrol employs 10,060 agents on the border with Mexico, compared with 980 on the Canadian border, which is twice as long.

* In fiscal year 2005, 473 migrants died crossing the U.S.-Mexican border. An estimated 3,600 migrants have died since U.S. officials tightened enforcement 11 years ago. The Border Patrol arrested 905,000 people along the Southwest border last year.

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