Verlon Jose, vice chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, opposes the border wall. NPR photo
Published January 24, 2019
WASHINGTON — Verlon Jose is vice chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, a tribal nation that is situated in southern Arizona and extends into Mexico. If Trump’s border wall was ever built, it would cut through the Tohono O’odham’ tribal land.
Soon after the 2016 presidential election, Jose told the media the Tohono O’odham Nation would reject the proposed wall.
On Wednesday, NPR aired an interview with Jose who stated the tribe’s opposition to the border wall.
When asked about the potential of the border wall addressing concerns of illegal immigration and national security, Jose stated:
Technology is a key. Right now they’re proposing the integrated fixed tower – that’s a virtual wall that’s going to be out there that’s going to be the eyes out there. … So that’s why we believe that a wall would not work. Yes, one terrorist could come through there, but look at how many terrorists that we already have in America.
When you look at all the tragedies that happen in America, and I have not done any research on this myself, but if you look at how [much] devastation America has faced, how much is caused by people coming across the border? It’s America killing America.
This map reflects the Tohono O’odham Nation land in the United States, home to about 32,000 tribal citizens, according to Verlon Jose, the tribe’s vice chairman. There is no similar delineation of the tribe’s land in Mexico; according to Jose, about 2,000 tribal citizens live there.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau; Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and OpenStreetMap contributors
Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR