Dr. Carolyn Gonzalez and Dr. Richard Shaeffer from the Cross-Border Issues Group at the University of New Mexico presented their research work to the participants of the McCormick Special Reporting Institute on Immigration. (Aaron Montes/Borderzine.com)

Central American immigrants risk lives, limbs to make it across the US-Mexico border, UNM researchers say

EL PASO – Researchers from the Cross-Border Issues Group at the University of New Mexico unveiled the faces of traveling migrants in an hour-long, eye-opening presentation at UTEP recently for journalists on the realities of immigration. “Central Americans have no sense of the distance they will have to walk to the border,” said Carolyn Gonzalez of UNM who co lead the presentation with Richard J. Schaefer, co-founder of CBIG and a professor at UNM. “The Ebb and Flow of Immigration: Getting Away from the Buzz,” as the presentation was titled, covered hot topics of immigration, including personal stories gathered by members of the CBIG during their visits to migrant shelters in Mexico and Central America. They also presented photos of the conditions migrants face when traveling through Central America and Mexico to the U.S., and valuable data regarding border security and the economic impact of immigration on the nation. Their presentation was part of a national immigration-reporting workshop at UTEP September 26-29 called “Immigration from the Border to the Heartland.”  Twenty U.S. journalists from online, print, TV and radio outlets in both English and Spanish participated in the workshop that was sponsored by the McCormick Foundation and hosted by the online magazine Borderzine.com.