Video: Texas migrant project has deep impact

A compelling, self-produced video illustrates the human impact of the work performed by a UIndy student-faculty forensic science team earlier this month in southern Texas.

Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Biology Krista Latham and five students volunteered to spend nearly two weeks in the oppressive heat exhuming the remains of undocumented migrants who have died after crossing the border, in hopes that someday the remains can be identified and returned to their families.

The project — part of a collaboration with Baylor and Texas State universities — has sparked runaway news coverage during the past few days, as well as talk of government investigations into the burial practices. Unfortunately, much of the reporting has been sensationalized and misleading from a scientific standpoint.

On the other hand, the 10-minute short film — edited by Human Biology master’s candidate Ryan Strand from footage shot by him and his colleagues — offers an unflinching but thoughtful firsthand look into the project’s intent and its impact on the students, the local community and the broader issue of this ongoing border crisis.

The video also is posted at the group’s blog, beyondborders.uindy.edu, which features other videos, photos and moving journal entries written by the team members, who also include recent graduate Cheneta Morrison and grad students Jessica CampbellErica Christensen and Justin Maiers.