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Indigenous Immigrants and Refugees in the North American Borderlands by Brenden W. Rensink, Texas A&M Press, 2018

Chapter 6, Note 5 (pages 122 and 250)

In this phenomenon, Yaquis share much with countless other groups of immigrants arriving in the United States during the decades bracketing the turn of the century.[1]

In a related account, one Yaqui woman recounted the following:

I remember the journey to the United States. We barely passed a group of [Mexican troops] without being seen. They had just butchered a pig and were very busy eating when we carefully crept by. We would have been killed if spotted . . . We traveled day and night though without stopping to sleep. While we were near a place called Plancha, we were ambushed but escaped.[2]

As with Ferminia’s account, the journey to reach the U.S.-Mexico border was fraught with danger. Crossing the border itself, though not without difficult, was an easier portion of the journey for some. This latter account continued, “We crossed the border at Sasabe because there were no guards there; by that time there were border guards at Nogales.” Ferminia’s group crossed at Nogales, and while they faced some difficulty, they did not have to pay as later generations would.

[1] Visit for sources and discussion of other crossing narratives.

[2] Refugio Savala, “Stories about Yaqui History,” unpublished manuscript, 67, Spicer Papers, ASM, Subgroup 8, Box 6, Folder 355.

[3] See Interview with Guadelupe Balthazar, April 28, 1937, Spicer Papers, ASM, Subgroup 8, Box 1, Folder 58.