Arizona’s Deadly Example : Arming and Shooting to Kill at the Border

When Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano visited the U.S./Mexico border at Texas last week, it was to assure people that the border is safe, thanks to the deployment of armed troops. Safety is relative however, and it seems is dependent on who you are, meaning your ethnicity and the perception of your legal status. Just ask the family of Carlos de la Madrid, a U.S. citizen who was shot in the back by U.S. Border Patrol while climbing a fence into Mexico. What happened echoes other shootings of young men at the border by Border Patrol, with reports of rocks being thrown being met with bullets. The video report below is valuable for the interviews with the widow of de la Madrid and an activist from Border Action Network, who point out the Border Patrol’s policy of shooting to kill and the often used justification for such action, illegal activity such as drugs.


While legislatively speaking, there is evidence of Arizona moving away from SB1070 type laws, policy wise, Arizona continues to use the threat of and actual violence. This week Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio announced “Operation Desert Sky”, a weeks long operation that puts 30 pilots into the air and put everyone at risk by arming vigilantes with M-16s and machine guns.

Salvador Reza of the Puente Movement commented, “With years of evidence piling up against this Sheriff, it is unconscionable that President Obama and the Department of Justice choose to be part of Arpaio’s coalition of the willing. At this point, there is little to point toward that would keep one from concluding that Arpaio is acting with the blessing of the Obama Administration in his pursuits.”

Obama’s comments earlier this week, expressing his hopes for immigration reform while continuing to expand programs that promote mass deportation combined with more death and weapons aimed at Latinos on the border make current immigration policy clear and whose safety is being prioritized.

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7 comments on “Arizona’s Deadly Example : Arming and Shooting to Kill at the Border
  1. “Volunteers” like Shawna Forde and Jason Bush…

    It’s amazing to me that so many Latinos continue to give Obama the benefit of the doubt. This guy is a bigger liar than Nixon and about 1000 times more incompetent.

  2. I think this continuos pervasive support for Arpaio and others alike have has to do more with DHS who lacks accountability and neoliberalism policies.

    Immigration has been a commodity long before creating DHS in 2003 and those who benefit are responsible for this more so than Obama who has been president since 2009

  3. Hola Xica and gracias for commenting.
    I agree and disagree. I agree in that the Arpaio problem and the problem with Border Patrol predates Obama. The way I see it, is a fundamental problem in how law enforcement works in general and why it works that way. It’s structural, built into the system.

    But certainly the Obama administration has far from helped. The current policies have led to more detentions, deportations, and deaths.

  4. Yes, the problem predates Obama, but he has the power to fix it. Do you really think the feds couldn’t take down some county sheriff if they wanted to? Instead they’ve empowered Arpaio. Obama doesn’t care because he knows he won’t win Arizona anyway. Why are you so reluctant to hold him accountable?

  5. I don’t know if you responding to me or to someone else Karen, but I think I did say in my previous comment that Obama has made it worse and my numerous posts on current immigration policy speak for themself

  6. I was responding more to xica. Her reply is typical of an Obama defender. It’s not him, it’s DHS. It’s not him, it’s the GOP. It’s not him, its Bush….

    No, it’s him.

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