MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Today the Southern Poverty Law Center launched “The Unwelcome,” the fifth episode from season three of its latest Sounds Like Hate podcast series. The episode looks at migrant mistreatment and deaths; humanitarians fighting for better conditions for migrants; and extremist activity on the U.S. southern border.
“This ongoing conflict at our border, between humanitarians and vigilantes, has long been overlooked and underreported,” said podcast co-host Yvonne Latty. “On one side you have mostly senior citizens working with nonprofit organizations trekking into the hot Sonoran Desert to give food and water to undocumented migrants who cross on foot and on the other side, you have armed militia who roam the desert detaining migrants, vandalizing their water sources and more.”
After years of political rhetoric and disinformation, a growing number of extremists and extremist groups are operating around the border, targeting migrants. In this episode, and the following, which will launch next week, the hosts travel to Arizona to speak with humanitarians seeking to provide relief to migrants and the extremists who target them.
“It’s not really anti-immigration, it's anti-brown people, anti-poor people,” says one of the humanitarians interviewed. “They arm themselves up with automatic weapons and they drive out there looking for them.”
Over the past few months, the SPLC’s Intelligence Project has reported on this extremist presence and activity as well as the relationships between far-right militias and federal agents.
“These episodes bring our reporting to life, further exposing the dangerous situation created by militia members operating as law enforcement (sometimes with the U.S. Border Patrol’s knowledge) and the failure of the U.S. government to step in and stop them,” said Susan Corke, Director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project. “More must be done, and it must be done soon, because every day the situation grows more dangerous for both migrants and the humanitarians.”
The next episode of “The Unwelcome,” which will continue to focus on vigilante activity at the border, airs on December 7. The podcast can be found at: https://soundslikehate.org/ Sounds Like Hate is produced by Until 20, LLC, for The Southern Poverty Law Center.
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