This week, more than 50 women and men will trek through 75 miles of ocotillo and saguaro cactus along the dry, desolate plains of the Sonoran Desert. But what they walk to witness is far from natural.
The Migrant Trail Walk is an annual, walking memorial. Led by la Coalición de Derechos Humanos and co-sponsored by a dozen other human rights organizations, the seven-day communal endeavor navigates a barren stretch from Sásabe, Sonora, in Mexico to Tucson, Arizona. It honors the more than 5,000 migrants who lost their lives after U.S. border policy forced them through those unforgiving corridors while they were seeking to reach the interior of the United States. It also pays homage to the lives that have been altered and the many lives that are yet to be taken.
This video by Jake Ratner and Elena Stein is a brief testament of the experience underway right now: an embodiment of struggle, a meditation on the wrangled roots of these deaths, and a strengthened commitment to take down the borders between us in order to forge an end to the atrocity.
Elena Stein and Jake Ratner worked on immigrant rights for several organizations including No More Deaths  while living in the Sonoran desert in 2011. They currently reside in Immokalee, Florida, where they work as allies to the farmworker struggle. See also a photo essay by Border Wars blogger Todd Miller from June 2011 titled "Walking the Migrant Trail ."