The following post is from Margaret Regan, the author of The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands. Regan's book chronicles firsthand accounts of the militarized borders and the ultimate human struggle and sacrifice to experience the freedom and independence in the United States.
A hot wind swept through the Arizona desert on the first day of July, pushing gray clouds across the sky and carrying the welcoming smell of rain.
The dampness in the air gave some small hope to this parched land. During all of June, it rained not a single drop in southern Arizona. The temperatures spiked above 100 degrees on twenty-two days, including sixteen days in a row during the last two weeks of the month. On one day, June 23, the mercury shot up to 109.
The region’s powerful summer thunderstorms—the monsoons—haven’t started yet but everyone’s praying for rain. Last week in Tucson, in a traditional celebration on the feast day of San Juan Bautista—St. John the Baptist—on June 24, neighbors carried his statue around on the banks of the dried-up Santa Cruz River, in hopes that the saint would baptize the borderlands. So far, the saint hasn’t answered their prayers.