In December of 2002, I was driving back into the United States from Mexico through the Lukeville border road entrance. As I was traveling through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument just inside Arizona, I was stopped for a couple of hours by several groups of men each consisting of large number of heavily armed Border Patrol agents on some sort of special operations. They eventually lead out of the desert scrub a large number of illegal immigrants that had been hiding in the mesquite and cactus as they attempted to head north through the park. They clearly weren’t drug smugglers. They looked too poor and were unarmed. They made for a rather moving and pathetic sight, and looked disheveled and dejected. I had never seen an operation like this up close and it was rather upsetting, and got me thinking about the life these folks were trying to make for themselves and the efforts that we in the United States make to prevent them from coming here. Sanctus Sonorensis was a work that came out of this experience.