Showdown in the Sonoran Desert: Religion, Law, and the Immigration Controversy

Hardcover | May 28, 2012

byAnanda Rose

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The U.S. immigration debate has raised some of the most difficult questions our nation has ever faced: How can we preserve the integrity of sovereign borders while also respecting the dignity of human beings? How should a border - that imaginary line in the sand--be humanely and effectivelymaintained? And how should we regard "the stranger" in our midst? To understand the experience of those directly impacted by the immigration crisis, Ananda Rose traveled to the Sonoran desert, a border region where the remains of some 2,000 migrants have been recovered over the past decade. There she interviewed Minutemen, Border Patrol agents, Catholic nuns,humanitarian aid workers, left-wing protestors, ranchers, and many other ordinary citizens of southern Arizona. She discovers two starkly opposed ideological perspectives: that of religious activists who embrace a biblically inspired hospitality that stresses love of strangers and a "borderless"compassion; and that of law enforcement, which insists on safety, security, and strict respect for international borders. But by embracing the stories these people tell about their lived experience - whether the rancher angered over seeing his property damaged by trespassing migrants, or the migrant who has left three children behind in a violent shantytown in the hope of providing them a better life through southboundremittances, or the Border Patrol agent stuck between his loyalty to law and the pain of finding a baby girl dead in the desert - Rose takes readers beyond predictable and entrenched partisan views to offer a more nuanced portrait of the conflict on the border. Ultimately, she argues, theimmigration question turns on how we choose to view "the other" - with compassion or with fear. In writing that is intimate, insightful, even-handed, and often gut-wrenchingly vivid, Showdown in the Sonoran Desert offers a fresh new way to frame one of the most important debates of our time.

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The U.S. immigration debate has raised some of the most difficult questions our nation has ever faced: How can we preserve the integrity of sovereign borders while also respecting the dignity of human beings? How should a border - that imaginary line in the sand--be humanely and effectivelymaintained? And how should we regard "the str...

Ananda Rose is a published poet and journalist. She recently received her Ph.D. from Harvard Divinity School.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:May 28, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199890935

ISBN - 13:9780199890934

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Table of Contents

Introduction. The Immigration Controversy: Religion and Law in CollisionPart I. God In The Desert: Migrant Deaths and the Rise of Border Ministries1. A Window Into The Crisis: Three Nuns and a Soup Kitchen2. Sanctuary Old And New: The Biblical Tradition of Radical Hospitality3. A Theology of Water: Humane Borders and the Reverend Robin Hoover4. Transcending Borders: No More Deaths and a Higher Moral Law5. Postscript: Riding with the SamaritansPart II. Law in the Desert: Security, Sovereignty and the Natural Rights of the State6. Fencing Arizona: Meditations On A Wall7. Invasions, Floods, and Barbarians: What's to be Afraid of?8. Senate Bill-1070: Wagers of Love and Fear at the Border9. Postscript: What Would Jesus do?Conclusion. And The Deaths Go On...