Sunday, August 27, 2006
Flying 500 feet above the simple barbed-wire fence that marks the U.S.-Mexico border, Armando Alarcon scans the desert below not just for a sign of life. He's also looking for a signal of distress. On this day, he sees only creosote bushes and ATV tracks in the dirt. He sees a big buck loping through the brush and a Border Patrol truck parked north of the border. He sees a cluster of cattle, a large field of black volcanic ash and the huge crater formed when the volcano collapsed. Finally, Alarcon's single-engine Cessna buzzes past the open arms of the Cristo Rey (Christ the King) statue built on a mountainside that straddles the end of the United States and the beginning of Mexico. It is down below where illegal immigrants take their first steps onto U.S. soil and where many collapse to their deaths in the brutal desert heat. For the entire Washington Post story, click here.