Migrant Quilt Project Documents Migrants Who Died In Desert Using The Things They Left Behind

Published: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 1:16pm
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 1:56pm
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Migrant Quilt Project
A quilt made by the Migrant Quilt Project.

Every year, as debates about building a wall along our Southern border and comprehensive immigration reform continue in Washington, hundreds of migrants continue to die in the desert as they attempt to come to the United States.

There is a community of activists in southern Arizona who work to help those migrants — groups like Samaritans and No More Deaths — who leave water along the trails where undocumented migrants sometimes cross.

Jody Ipsen is part of that community and, for more than a decade, she and a group of other artists and activists have taken some of what those migrants leave behind — clothes, blankets, sometimes, prayer cards — and turned it all into quilts.

It’s called the Migrant Quilt Project, and its goal is to document the migrants — named and unnamed — who die every year in the Tucson Border Patrol Sector of the desert. There are 17 quilts now that serve as a tribute to migrants who have died there for the last 17 years.

The Show spoke with Ipsen about the project and why she started it.

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