A Most Dangerous Journey: Tracing the Human Cost of Immigration From Altar to Arizona

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To dodge the drug cartels and border patrol officers, crossing the border means trekking through high desert and away from main roads, which can be treacherous. On the U.S. side of the border, Bob Kee, a volunteer for the Tucson Samaritans, a group that helps prevent migrants from dying in the desert, hikes out into the wilderness along the Arizona border to leave water, food and other supplies along known migrant paths.

On one hike with Kee, we came across two migrants who said they had been walking for five or six days, and were turning back.

"They got lost. The guide left. There were eight in their group initially and the guide left them, which is common," Kee said. "They are returning to Mexico. I think they are just frustrated and tired and going back."

Just the latest in those who give up on the desperate journey that begins in a cynical town preying on border crossers, selling them overpriced rides to an America most will never see. It's all part of a broken immigration system that delivers the vulnerable to our kitchens, front yards, construction sites, and sometimes, a morgue in Tucson.

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