Border militarization has propelled migrants into dangerous areas, creating a funnel effect, el efecto embudo. More than 6,000 migrants have perished — and fully a third in the Arizona-Sonora desert — since 1998. This project chronicles the correlation between the beef-up in border patrol and the deaths of migrants in 1998, 2005 and 2013.
Many reports have focused on the increase of U.S. Border Patrol staffing along the U.S.-Mexico Border, and others have discussed the soaring death rate among migrants. Dianne Solís and Celeste González de Bustamante wanted to visualize both facts and see the impact of U.S. immigration and security policy on human life. They said that using mapping would help illustrate two so-called “funnel effects.”
Neither had experience with data visualization previously, although both are very experienced in immigration reporting. Dianne is a senior reporter for the Dallas Morning News. Celeste González de Bustamante is a professor at the University of Arizona who teaches journalism and Latin American studies and during this academic year is visiting Universidad Iberoamericana, where Migrahack was held.
During Migrahack, Dianne and Celeste learned how to use ArcGIS, a mapping program, and discovered how such technology can “muscle up” the power of storytelling by engaging readers more deeply. Dianne and Celeste said they plan to develop the project further, with photos, videos and other data.