The Tucson Samaritans: Background information when reading Jumping at Shadows

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Jumping at Shadows

The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream

by Sasha Abramsky

Jumping at Shadows by Sasha Abramsky X
Jumping at Shadows by Sasha Abramsky
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Sep 2017, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Cynthia C. Scott

Buy This Book

About this Book

The Tucson Samaritans

This article relates to Jumping at Shadows

Print Review

"I feel sorrow. Anger. And sometimes a little desperation," says Maria Ochoa, one of the people Sasha Abramsky interviews in his book, Jumping at Shadows. As a member of the Tucson Samaritans, a humanitarian group which aids migrants who cross the borders through the Arizona desert, she has reason to be. For more than a decade, she has provided water, food, and medical assistance to border crossers and recovered the bodies of those who didn't make it. Working with the remains of a woman who died in the desert was particularly emotional for her. "We went out to have a service for her, two weeks after they'd picked up her body. And the spot where she'd laid, the outline of her body was still there..."

Yet Ochoa, who is one of many volunteers in the organization, continues to venture into the desert. As immigration reform becomes more elusive, the situation has become more desperate as migrants brave the unforgiving desert to escape poverty and crime in Mexico and Central America.

Mexico has experienced ups and downs in its economy for decades, which has directly or indirectly lead to a spike in immigration to the United States. In addition, political and economic challenges in South America have contributed to migrants from those countries crossing to the US through Mexico.

Tragically, far too many who attempt to cross the border don't succeed. Thousands of men, women, and children have died from dehydration, heat stroke, and hypothermia. Rather than address the humanitarian crisis, the U.S. local and federal governments instead created more onerous immigration policies. Anti-immigration militia groups have also cropped up with a mission to track and hunt migrants as they crossed into the United States.

Tucson Samaritans out in the Sonoran desert Founded in 2002 by John Fife, a pastor from the Tucson area and a prominent human rights activist since the 1980s, Tucson Samaritans addresses the mounting crisis by offering assistance to the migrants. Affiliated with the Southside Presbyterian Church, an institution in Tucson that is a member of the Sanctuary Movement and dedicated to social justice, the Samaritans are guided by a moral and spiritual resistance against what they believe are the forces of militarization, conquest, and exploitation. As Fife states: "There's never been substantive social change without resistance movements." Since its founding, the organization has grown to include over a thousand volunteers.

Legally, they are not allowed to help illegal migrants cross the border into the United States. After alerting Border Patrol, volunteers stay with the travelers to make sure they get the proper medical attention and ensure their rights are protected. Beyond reactive measures, Tucson Samaritans are also focused on the larger picture by advocating for more humane border policies and immigration reform.

Editor's note: Check out the Beyond the Book for Lucky Boy for a group doing similar work.

Picture of Samaritans from Tucson Samaritans

This "beyond the book article" relates to Jumping at Shadows. It first ran in the September 6, 2017 issue of BookBrowse Recommends.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...
  • Book Jacket: Waiting for Eden
    Waiting for Eden
    by Elliot Ackerman
    Elliot Ackerman's latest novel, Waiting for Eden, follows Marine Eden Malcom as his death ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kinship of Secrets
    by Eugenia Kim

    Two sisters grow up bound by family but separated by war; inspired by a true story.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.