Conflict at Arizona’s southern border rages on, as law enforcement and militias step up their efforts to end illegal immigration.
Detainments and arrests made by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increased by 43 percent since President Donald Trump took office, pledging to roundup drug dealers and criminals who entered the United States illegally. However, the number of deportations has fallen.
Militias and anti-government groups have taken it upon themselves to enforce border laws. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are 31 active militia and anti-government groups.
Several students at Arizona State University were sensitive to residents who feel the need to arm and protect themselves, but also thing law enforcement isn’t the responsibility of private citizens.
Shaq, an ASU student from Jamaica is skeptical that policy change will end the conflict.
“I’ve been raised in a country that enforced a lot of laws, and people still don’t go by the law and get killed” Shaq said. “If you make a law people are still going to get killed.”
Maria, also an ASU student, said that the law is important, but vigilante justice is not the way to enforce it.
“If they’re not law enforcement then they have not jurisdiction,” Maria said.
Hidden Border aims to explore the thoughts and concerns of these students and others.