Toothpaste Found in Sonoran Desert

Toothpaste Found in Sonoran Desert

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Description
Small, travel-sized tube of Colgate Total Whitening Toothpaste. It is a white tube and cap with ridges and has blue sides and bears gray Spanish and English font on front fascia. The 22 mL tube is approximately half full and was collected in a remote part of the Sonoran Desert near the Mexican border. The past 20 years has seen a rise in unauthorized border crossing, border enforcement procedures, and debates about who and how migrants should be let into the country.
As the US federal immigration enforcement strategy known as Prevention Through Deterrence (PTD) increased the security presence around urban ports of entry in the mid-1990s, there was a shift in undocumented migration towards more remote regions of the American Southwest. Those making the perilous journey through this inhospitable desert landscape faced extreme temperatures (summer temperatures as high as 100° F/38° C and winter temperatures approaching freezing), rugged terrain, abuse from coyotes (human smugglers), and the risk of getting caught by the Border Patrol.
The site where this was found likely served as a way station used by human smugglers or a site of Border Patrol apprehension. Typical items found at these sites include personal hygiene products such as this toothbrush, backpacks, excess clothes, and empty water bottles.
Object Name
toothpaste
place made
United States: Arizona
Physical Description
plastic (overall mater; single or multi-hued designationial; material)
Measurements
overall: 4 in; 10.16 cm
ID Number
2013.3012.06
accession number
2013.3012
catalog number
2013.3012.06
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ethnic
Many Voices, One Nation
Exhibition
Many Voices, One Nation
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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