Best Of The Border (3/17-3/22)

“Between FY 1999 and FY 2012, immigrant deaths increased by more than 80 percent at the same time apprehensions, a measure of illegal entry, declined by 77 percent.” Credit: National Foundation for American Policy
By John Rosman
March 23, 2013

Undocumented Immigrant Deaths Spike At Border

Crossing the border may be more dangerous than ever before.

A study released Tuesday by The National Foundation for American Policy suggests an immigrant attempting to cross illegally into the United States is eight times more likely to die in the attempt than a decade ago.


Photo by Adrian Florido
Sadik Al Bazaz studied accounting in Iraq, but after resettling in the U.S. partnered with his brother, a civil engineer, to open an Iraqi restaurant and bakery instead.

A Decade After War's Start, Iraqi Refugees Are Transforming A California Town

The first Iraqi refugees started arriving in El Cajon, a city east of San Diego, in 2007, joining family members who had arrived more than a decade earlier after the Gulf War. In the six years since the U.S. started admitting refugees from the most recent conflict, more than 11,000 Iraqis have arrived.


Border Author Wins PEN/Faulkner Literary Award

Author Benjamin Alire Sáenz's book, "Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club," is a collection of seven short stories that all relate to a legendary bar in the Mexican border city of Juárez. He was the first Latino to win prestigious PEN/Faulkner award, joining the ranks of Phillip Roth and John Updike.


Photo by Jill Replogle
The Guatemalan Foundation for Forensic Anthropology has been digging up mass graves for years, uncovering evidence for war crimes trials, and returning remains to victims' families.

Former Guatemalan Strongman Stands Trial For Genocide

A historic trial began in Guatemala this week. For the first time ever, a former head of state faces the charge of genocide in his own country’s court system.

“I think it is more the symbol of the dictator, the powerful man," said Almudena Bernabeu, a Spanish lawyer at the Center for Justice and Accountability. "Being forced to listen to 130 testimonies of how people suffered with [what] this, you know, jerk and his men did."

And, of course, there's the possibility of a guilty sentence.

"And hopefully they pronounce it with a microphone and with the room packed," Bernabeu said. “You know, to me, it’s the power of that symbol, and that will be there forever.”