At The Border; When Survival Becomes A Crime
For decades, US policies have created economic crises and violence that drive people from their homes in search of a place where they can work and live. Rather than recognizing that US imperialism causes migration and changing US foreign policy, the US has increasingly militarized its borders to keep people out. We speak with Dévora González, an organizer with School of Americas Watch, who is the daughter of migrants and lives in the border lands, about what it is like to live in a low intensity war zone and the criminalization of migrants who are trying to survive.
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Dévora González is a mother to a wonderful little human named Tlecuiani. She is a Salvadoran-Guatemalan, descendent of Pipil and Mayan peoples, woman and mother that was born and raised in Los Angeles to migrant parents that found refuge in the city. Being raised in a Central American community, the political and historical knowledge she gathered stemmed from oral history and narratives of migration from her family, friends, and community. The gaps in her understanding led her to California State University, Northridge where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Central American Studies and Psychology and felt empowered to create positive change in her community.
Aware of the anti-migrant sentiment, structural border conditions that fueled deaths at the desert, and feeling a strong connection to the communities forced to migrate to the United States, she relocated to Tucson, Arizona in 2012. Since, she has been part of the Missing Migrant Crisis Hotline that was a project of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos and No More Deaths, has helped with abuse documentation for the report Deprivation, Not Deterrence by the Guatemala Acupuncture and Medical Aid Project (GUAMAP), and has been active in migrant rights work, resistance, and resilience of Border Communities in the face of militarization.