Journal-isms: More Illegal Immigrants Die Crossing into the U.S. Than U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

A death toll that doesn't get compared to the obvious; the Sherrod case and the media, and more.

Immigrants Hold Marches Across U.S. On May Day

A Phenomenon That “Figures Little in the Debate”

The article was largely buried in most newspapers, if run at all,” columnist Edward Schumacher-Matos wrote Thursday for the Washington Post Writers Group.

So many bodies of unauthorized migrants are being found in the Arizona desert this month, the Associated Press reported, that the Pima County Medical Examiner was stacking them like boxes of fish in a refrigerated truck.

“Forty bodies were found in just the first half of the month.

“Last year, 317 Americans died fighting in Afghanistan. Guess how many migrants, mostly Mexicans searching for work, died crossing illegally into America? The Border Patrol collected 422 in the last fiscal year, part of a rising trend.

“And most die in the desert. Here is how Luis Alberto Urrea, in his book, ‘The Devil’s Highway,’ described what happens:

“Dehydration had reduced all your inner streams to sluggish mudholes. . . . Your sweat runs out. . . . Your temperature redlines — you hit 105, 106, 108 degrees. . . . Your muscles, lacking water, feed on themselves. They break down and start to rot. . . . The system closes down in a series. Your kidney, your bladder, your heart.’

“Yet these deaths figure little in the debate over immigration. There is faint sense of scandal, of tragedy or, certainly, of urgency to agree on a solution. The extremists rule, with one side calling for more enforcement and the other saying enforcement doesn’t work.

“The former has the louder voice today, making it the bigger culprit, but the latter — humanitarian groups, for one — share in the blame. They seem not to find any enforcement policy they like, abandoning responsibility.

“The Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, is caught in the middle, a Gulliver tied by Lilliputians and unable to take command of the fight.”