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TWO PEOPLE. Both
The lives they lead, while markedly different, are each interesting.
Let's get one thing out of the way. Arizona, due to national news stereotyping, comes across to folks in the East as some sort of right-wing compound with fence around all four sides.
Let this Virginian bring a bit of perspective. Arizonans are individuals and think for themselves. Their current mouthy political leaders--much covered and hyped--do not accurately reflect the state's diversity.
One day a few weeks back, I left the group of journalists I was touring with and stumbled into three people in a Tubac courtyard. I'd been walking, and they offered me lemonade and pleasant conversation.
The man in the group mentioned he was a Samaritan. I had heard of this group of folks, who go out looking for people walking across the border who might be at physical risk.
He told me the group operates legally because it does nothing to encourage or assist people entering the country illegally. It does help those who have gotten in over their heads and find themselves in situations that can--and do--kill them.
It is not uncommon to see a small story in Arizona newspapers about a body being found in the desert. The state's border with Mexico is approximately 336 miles long. That's a lot of desert.
Unless you have been out on your own in the Sonoran (or Chihuahuan or Mojave) deserts, you won't understand how dangerous it is, how quickly it can kill.
The man told me that some months ago he was walking a trail known to be used by illegals when he came across someone.
"She was a 24-year-old Guatemalan woman. It was 41 degrees that day; she was hypothermic when we found her. I'd guess she was 15 minutes from dying."
They bundled her up and quickly got her to a clinic. She survived the close call. The next day, they put her on the trail with essential survival items.
The woman had been walking a very long way. She told the Samaritans that she hoped to reach her sister in Dallas--a great distance from southern Arizona.