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51 UCLA L. Rev. 267 (2003-2004)
Human Rights and Undocumented Migration along the Mexican-U.S. Border

handle is hein.journals/uclalr51 and id is 297 raw text is: HUMAN RIGHTS AND UNDOCUMENTED MIGRATION
Dr. Guillermo Alonso Meneses
By natural law, every man has the right to his own life and physical and
mental integrity.
-Francisco de Vitoria, 1 De Justitia
Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a
last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights
should be protected by the rule of law.
-Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The statistics are clear: Between 1990 and 2002, there have been more than
3000 dead and missing unauthorized immigrants and 15,000,000 apprehensions and
deportations along the Mexican-U.S. border. The border strategy of U.S. audiori-
ties has forced undocumented immigrants to pay higher prices to coyote guides,
providing enormous financial incentives for smuggling. The immediate effect has
been the creation of sophisticated criminal organizations that exploit this business.
The worst effect of U.S. border policy, however, is that undocumented immigrants
now face a border fraught with dangers of death, serious bodily injury, robbery, swin-
dling, molestation, and other assaults. This is a complex and problematic reality.
Therefore, the U.S.-Mexican border is a danger line for unauthorized immi-
grants. In 2002, the U.S. Border Patrol discovered 323 deceased immigrants.
American and Mexican researchers, nongovernment organizations, and journalists
have declared that the U.S. government is responsible for these deaths. They have
also called this tragedy a human rights violation. In this Article, cultural anthro-
pologist Guillermo Alonso Meneses explores the problem of immigrant deaths and
analyzes whether there is evidence of human rights violations in the United States'
border strategy or in the passive Mexican authorities' attitude. This Article argues
that the Mexican and U.S. governments have equal responsibility for the problem of
*    Cultural Anthropologist, Departamento de Estudios de Poblaci6n, El Colegio de la Frontera
Norte (COLEF), Tijuana, Baja California, Autopista Tijuana-Ensenada, km. 18, San Antonio del
Mar, Tel.: 01-52 (664) 631-63-00 ext.: 2203. I would like to thank the symposium commentators,
especially my panel commentators, Professor Alexander Aleinikoff of Georgetown University Law
Center and Eduardo Capulong, Lecturer at Stanford Law School. Also, I am grateful for the invitation
to participate in the Symposium. The opportunity to voice my perspective at the UCLA School of Law
has been an important experience, an experience that has helped me to understand U.S. perspectives
and worries. Last but not least, much thanks to my editor, Christina Wu.

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