KGUN 9NewsBorder Watch


Trash is piling up at the border wall in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

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Posted at 5:52 PM, Sep 08, 2023

LUKEVILLE, Ariz. (KGUN) — Migrants walking the border wall is a daily occurrence in many parts of Southern Arizona.

In July's most recent month of data, Customs and Border Protection officers reported nearly 40,000 apprehensions in the Tucson Sector.

And while waiting to turn themselves into agents, they leave a lot behind.

“We spend hours everyday picking up trash," Barbara Rahm Jones, a volunteer with Humane Borders explained.

It’s a thankless job with long hours, no pay, spent in the heat. Which Jones hopes they can get help with since there are no dumpsters or bathrooms nearby.

“There are trash containers and restrooms in Yuma, so it’s possible to do; it’s just a matter of logistics, I guess,” Jones said.

The garbage also blows into the park, an environmental concern for volunteers.

Trash at the wall in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Trash at the wall in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Syed Mahmud Nasir Raza says he’s proud to help, and hopes people have sympathy for the migrants who cross here.

“They are walking for miles, with so much load, and if they throw this water bottle here, so be it. I’m here to pick it up," Raza shared.

Raza says his interactions with migrants is what makes him to drive from Scottsdale to volunteer.

As for the ongoing border issues, he doesn’t understand why there isn’t a better way to help people who need it.

“The most powerful country cannot be a force for good? And encourage that in the world? People from Ecuador and Guatemala fleeing genocide and violence, can’t we do something here? That’s where I find us more at fault than anything else," Raza added.