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July 9, 2014

Immigration in Pictures: Despite the Noise, not all Border Ranchers are Haters

…And not all immigrants who make it across are planning to stay.

Far from your typical border/illegal immigration news photo, Nick Oza’s image for the Arizona Republic defies the sensational media scenes dominate by Cliven BundyMurrieta and even the ongoing visibility of a 2010 murder of an Arizona rancher. Just the fact the photo shows a Mexican interacting with anybody besides a Coyote or an employee of the U.S. Government is novel.  Here, a rancher within eight miles of the border actually extends aid and human kindness to a Mexican teenager who has crossed over. (Apparently, if you watch too much news, it would be easy to picture all border ranchers as militant about immigration when, in fact, many are just as fed up with the politicos and the Border Patrol.)

Here’s the caption:

Rancher Jim Chilton offers water to Ivan Rebollar, 15, who said he had been walking for two days without food or water since crossing the border. Chilton encountered Rebollar on Tres Bellotas Road, about eight miles north of the Mexico border. Rebollar, wearing carpet overshoes often used by drug smugglers, was walking south, towards Mexico, at the time. Rebollar, from a small town in Michoacan, Mexico, said he was looking for the Border Patrol to give himself up.

The other thing that’s striking is the news that Ian was actually looking to turn himself in, having just successfully entered the U.S.A. If that fact would strain believability for some, it’s further testament to the dominance of controversy and contentious political narratives.

The full photo story Nick Oza’s eight year documentary on immigration at the Arizona Republic’s AZCentral.com here.  See our previous post in this “Immigration in Pictures” series (Im-Migrant Mother) here.

(photo: Nick Oza/The Republic)

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