Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tour shows migrant life on the Arizona-Mexico border

On a recent sunny Arizona morning, Judy Macintyre, a 72-year-old tourist from Minnesota, is ready to board a bus. But this is not just any tour. To Macintyre, it's an opportunity to take an in-depth look at a controversial issue she wanted to explore for a long time. The tour titled "Border Crisis: Fact and Fiction" is intended to allow tourists to see immigration at one of the hottest spots on the border. And that's exactly what the adventurous Minnesotan wants to do. Experiencing the realities of the U.S.-Mexico border up close is as simple as buying an $89 ticket. The Tucson, Arizona, office of Gray Line Tours is offering the trip twice a month. The tour operator bills the trip as "a fact-finding mission" that allows tourists to draw their own conclusions. "Don't let the politicians and news broadcasters become your only source of information," the tour description says on the Gray Line Tours' website. Tourists are taken to the border fence. They take a look at a pedestrian bridge connecting the two countries. They see Customs and Border Protection agents in action at a crossing point, although they can't get too close for security reasons. And then they go to the areas where more than a hundred immigrants die each year. Since last October, more than 130 migrants have died while trying to cross the Arizona desert, according to the U.S. Border Patrol...more

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