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Rev.: Give GPS to Human Smugglers

Human rights activist aims to make border crossing safer
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2011 7:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Rev. Robin Hoover, a human rights activist, wants to give GPS devices to human smugglers along the dangerous Mexico-Arizona border, reports the Christian Science Monitor. “It’s like giving a life preserver to somebody that’s using a boat,” and would allow the "coyotes" to alert search and rescue of any trouble, says the reverend. But the US Border Patrol fears that will just encourage more people to attempt the long journey through the dangerous desert region. “The best way to save lives is to discourage anyone from attempting the difficult trek in the first place,” says a Border Patrol spokesman.

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Over the past decade, authorities have discovered about 2,000 bodies in the desert, most during the hot summer months. Each GPS device costs $225, and Hoover wants to give out 100 of them. "That would mean 100 groups in the desert would have more safety than they've ever had," says Hoover. But the Border Patrol says its beacons and warning signs already help would-be migrants, adding, “unlike coyotes that lure people into dangerous area with the goal of turning a dollar, the Border Patrol is concerned about people’s lives.” (Read more Border Patrol stories.)

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