A powerful documentary in the PBS series "Independent Lens" titled The Undocumented, directed by Marco Williams, focuses on efforts to identify the 200 Mexicans each year who die while making the crossing through the Arizona desert into America in search of work to provide for their families. Victims of heat stroke and the lack of food, water, and medical care, they pay the highest price for the dream of a better life.

And so we pray this news . . .

Buddhists believe that
anyone we meet could
have been our mother
in a previous reincarnation.
Perhaps that is why
we can identify so closely
with Mexicans and other
immigrants who each day
risk their lives to cross
the border and travel on
foot across the Arizona desert.
They are dreaming of work
and a better life in America.

But the desert is
harsh and inhospitable.
As many as 200 of these people
die there each year of heat stroke
dehydration, and starvation.
We pray for these victims and
for their loved ones and
traveling companions.

We are thankful for the
heroic efforts of volunteers
who try to provide water, food,
and medical care to those
making the desert crossing.
We are grateful for the
humanitarian efforts
of those who seek to return
their bodies and skeletal
remains to their families.

We pray that someday soon
more hearts will be opened
to the desperate plight of
these immigrants whose
dreams of a better life are
burnt away in the desert sun.

We vow to do all we can
to cross the borders
that divide us from others
and, in the words
of Henri J.M. Nouwen,
"to see that we are all
children of the same God
and members of the
same human family."

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