For anyone who imagines English professors spending their summer vacation sipping mai tais at tropical resorts, allow SDSU English lecturer John Granger to provide an alternative picture. Granger has spent this summer in Tucson working with No More Deaths, a humanitarian organization whose mission is "to end death and suffering on the U.S./Mexico border through civil initiative."
Working alongside friend and border activist Margot Cowan, Granger has launched a program that helps migrants charged with felonies for crossing into Arizona with the goal of returning their confiscated possessions to them once they have been walked back across the border stripped of rights to work and services of Mexican citizens.
In a recent article in the Tuscon Citizen, Granger says, "we're doing what the government should be doing - returning property to its owner - even if it's just a symbolic gesture."
While No More Deaths groups are also set up in Phoenix and Flagstaff, Granger hopes to see the project expand: "We're trying to get the string of sister cities linked by border groups at work on either side, from Texas to California."
Granger cites more local human rights groups sponsored by American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) similar to No More Deaths, such as Tijuana's Casa del Migrante.
Follow the above links for more information on how to get linked to these groups, or follow this link to find out how to get linked into one of Professor Granger's great SDSU courses this Fall.