A group of California artists wants Mexicans and Central Americans to have more than just a few cans of tuna and a jug of water for their illegal trek through the harsh desert into the U.S.
Faculty at University of California, San Diego, are developing a GPS-enabled cell phone that tells dehydrated migrants where to find water — and also broadcasts poetry, regaling them on their journey much like Emma Lazarus’ words did a century ago to the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” on Ellis Island.
The Transborder Immigrant Tool is part technology endeavor, part art project. It introduces a high-tech twist to an old debate about how far activists can go to prevent migrants from dying on the border without breaking the law.
Immigration hardliners argue the activists are aiding illegal entry to the United States, a felony. Even migrants and their sympathizers question whether the device will make the treacherous journeys easier.
The designers — three visual artists on UCSD’s faculty and an English professor at the University of Michigan — are undeterred as they criticize a U.S. policy they say embraces illegal immigrants for cheap labor while letting them die crossing the border.
“It’s about giving water to somebody who’s dying in the desert of dehydration,” said Micha Cardenas, 32, a UCSD lecturer.
Why can’t it be about assisting illegal immigrants in becoming LEGAL immigrants? This is nothing more than a tool to prolong suffering and enable lawbreakers. You know, they wouldn’t be dehydrated in the desert if they followed protocol like every other legal immigrant. But to actually assist illegal immigrants to becoming legal immigrants means that these poseur do-gooder Belle and Sebastian man-scarf types would have to actually – GASPERS! – get involved.
Funny still how they didn’t donate their time – they stuck Californians with the bill. So much for being charitable, eh? Anyone can claim to be charitable while getting paid for it.