The 800 Mile Wall: A Matter of Human Rights

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sought to assure us all that human rights are a priority for the administration. Unfortunately, the policies in place to secure the U.S.-Mexico border have hardly been humane. That’s why Thursday, December 10th, Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) sponsored a showing of The 800 Mile Wall in honor of the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In his remarks after the film, Rep. Grijalva stressed that we have dehumanized the way we handle immigration at the border. The United States has turned to militarization, relied on enforcement, and chosen to build walls. The combination of these strategies has been lethal.

By telling the stories of the many men, women, and children who have lost their lives just for seeking jobs to feed their families, Director John Carlos Frey’s film The 800 Mile Wall challenges viewers to remember our common humanity. As emphasized by Rep. Grijalva, the immigration debate should not be about us versus them.  It’s about recognizing our shared humanity and returning to the fundamental values of this nation.

One of those fundamental values must be the recognition of human rights. With around 5,600 migrant deaths, most caused by dehydration and over-exposure due to a lack of access to water and shelter, two basic needs, immigration reform should be prioritized by the current administration this upcoming year to address this humanitarian crisis.

With that in mind, LAWG thanks Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) for getting the ball rolling on immigration reform. For those who are unfamiliar with the border, The 800 Mile Wall is an invaluable tool to illustrate how important immigration reform is to resolve the migrant deaths crisis.

Please take a moment to visit The 800 Mile Wall website where you can view a trailer, buy a copy of the film, access resources to help you learn more about the migrant deaths crisis, and find ways to get involved by emailing your representatives or sponsoring a home screening of the film. Click here to visit the site.

To read Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s remarks about releasing his Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) bill, click here.  

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