Mujeres en el Cruce: Remapping Border Security through Migrant Mobility
Anna Ochoa O’Leary*
There is little doubt that the migration of women out of Latin America has been steadily increasing since the 1980s. Their increased participation in the labor market is best understood in the context of global restructuring in what been referred to asthe feminization of international migration (Ramírez, García Domínguez, and MiguezMorais 2005).Yet, little is known about their actual migration experiences.We know, for example, that migration for women is becoming increasingly hazardous. Recent research on human remains recovered in the Tucson sector since 1991 by researchers at the Binational Migration Institute at the University of Arizona1 has not only determined that migrant deaths due to exposure have increased since 1994,when harsher measures to enforce theborder between the United States and Mexicoborder were implemented, but also that women migrants, when controlling for age (younger than 18 years of age), are 2.70 times more likely to die of exposure than all other causes when compared to men(Rubio-Goldsmith et al. 2006). The hazards inherent in the migration process were also brought to public attention in March 2007 with an outbreak of armed violence in Arizona, allegedly between rival bands of human smugglers. Five undocumented immigrants, two of them women, were killed in these incidents (Quinn and McCombs 2007).
* Lecturer at Mexican American Studies and Research Center, University of Arizona,
Tucson, Arizona, USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.