Last year marked the inaugural Border Encuentro, a peaceful event intended to draw attention to the border deaths. Photo by Richard Miller.

In the desert between Nogales and Tucson, Ariz., the remains of three to five people are being found every week.

“And that’s too damned many,” said Richard Miller, a Dallas high-end homebuilder and activist. “Somebody has to bring that to the attention of the public, because that’s unacceptable.”

I was talking with him about an event later this week called Border Encuentro (Border Encounter). Grassroots activists from the Mexican side of the border at Nogales will meet with activists on the United States side to hold workshops, forums, protests, and vigils. The event is produced by School of the Americas Watch, a grassroots group that has long protested against the military base in Fort Benning, Ga., that is home to the School of the Americas. The protest group is angry that U.S. personnel there have trained generations of ruthless dictators — from Panama’s Manuel Noriega to Bolivia’s Hugo Banzer — and future military leaders of Central and South American countries.

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  1. That’s right, the corrupt construction industry has been hiring cheap illegal labor for so long that all the American workers have literally been driven out of their jobs. Is that really that hard to understand? Deport them and build the border wall!

  2. The ones I know get paid well and do great work. Why is it our ancestors came here to get a life, but we’re now too selfish to let others come? Obviously we’re not a Christian nation.

  3. Don’t even try to suggest that Americans aren’t willing or able to work construction jobs! Back in the early ’80’s during the housing building boom in Plano and beyond, almost every single construction crew, from framer to painter, was an American. Some left because of the downturn in the ’90’s but most did because contractors started hiring cheap, undocumented workers who worked for less money because they were here illegally. I know this first hand. While Miller may not have created the so-called “shortage” of skilled workers he certainly is perpetuating the problem and is working very, very hard to protect his supply of cheap labor!

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