Point 1: I live in Sahuarita, which is just south of Tucson, which is in the very south part of Arizona, about 40 minutes away from the border. We live right off the freeway that takes you to Mexico, so we see a lot of traffic with Mexican license plates. A lot of traffic; probably 10 or 15 cars a day with Sonora plates. In fact, we participated in the community-wide yard sale a few months back, and most of the people who came and rummaged our stuff had Sonora plates. Which is fine. People in Mexico need clothes too.
Point 2: Obviously with such proximity to Mexico, immigration is a really hot issue and there are stories on the news all the time about it. One side of this controversy is the water stations some do-gooder types have set up across the desert for those that are so inclined to walk out in the wilderness to get across the border. The idea being that it doesn't cost that much to maintain these water stations compared to the amount of money spent on rescuing people languishing in the desert from lack of water (which lack of water was not a deterrent in the first place, another argument in favor of keeping them).
Query: Why the heck are people walking across (and dying in) the desert when it doesn't appear to be that difficult to just drive over the border? So not difficult, in fact, that you could come up for a day trip to go to a community yard sale? Why couldn't you, if you were so inclined, come across the border and just not go home?
I asked my friend Nate, a Tucson native, these questions, and he said that probably the people who walk across the desert can't afford a passport and/or a car to drive them across the border.
Maybe I'm just not cut out for illegal immigration because still I don't get it. Maybe they don't want a passport because they don't want to be traceable...? Maybe they really are that poor but, I just can't imagine poverty crushing enough to risk walking across the desert, which I am pretty sure even the cleaned up, pesticide treated version that is around my house is actively attempting to kill me. I once walked outside in my dirt backyard in flip flops and sustained at least 20 red ant bites. I can't even imagine walking in the real wilderness. I'd be dead in 5 minutes. Tops.