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See 360-video of the Border Angels on a life-saving mission

Volunteers provide aid to migrants crossing border
Posted: 10:41 AM, Mar 23, 2017
Updated: 2017-03-23 19:36:44Z

We've heard a lot about the proposed border wall. There's already a wall in parts of the U.S.

Other areas are wide open.

National staff with The Now wanted to see it using a 360-degree camera. We met with a group near Holtvile, California called the Border Angels , which is on a mission to save lives and does things such as placing water at migrant crossing routes along the Mexico-U.S. border.

You can view The Now's experience here, on your mobile device or desktop computer:

The U.S.-Mexico border is 2,000 miles long. A third of it has a wall. 

Enrique Morones, the executive director for Border Angels, says "where there are no cities or wall, there is just desert and that's where people cross ... and sadly that's where the people die."

He says the biggest mass grave in the Americas is not in Mexico, Chile or Argentina. The biggest mass grave is in California. There are hundreds of migrants buried there and nearly 500 of them are unidentified.

Arlyne Ortega is a student at the University of Utah volunteering with Border Angels.

"I thought it was surprising how many of them didn't have names. They didn't have identities. I looked on the bricks that I guess are their headstones, and it just said a row and their number, and so I was just kind of sad because you know sometimes immigrants are dehumanized and I felt like sometimes a John Doe is kind of sad because you don't get to know the identity and the story of that person," Ortega said. 

Border Angels puts out jugs of water to help the people who are crossing the border in the desert.

Ortega said they also write encouraging messages.

"I feel like because of the hardships these people go though, it's important I guess if they were to see this water, drink from it and see this message, than they would have that sense of hope and motivation to keep on going and to keep on fighting," Ortega said.

Morones hopes volunteers will realize after this experience that they can make a difference.

"They can go back to their communities and say, we need to overcome hate with love. We need to have positive peaceful actions to change what is happening in these very dark times the country is going through right now," Morones said.

Learn more about the Border Angels here.

 

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