Migrant: Stories of Hope and Resilience

In collaboration with Catholic Campaign for Human Development,  Jeffry Korgen, Kevin Pyle and the Hope Border Institute, the Kino Border Initiative is proud to announce the publication of Migrant: Stories of Hope and Resilience, a resource to tell the human story behind the headlines and amplify the voice of the vulnerable. To order print copies, contact the KBI office at 520-287-2370 or ifuentes@kinoborderinitiative.org.

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A World of Business Knowledge

This summer, Father Sean Carroll, S.J., KBI Executive Director, will complete a comprehensive, international MBA program. The program has taken him to locations around the world, where he has acquired skills, knowledge, and experience that will benefit the KBI here at home.

One year ago, with board members and staff behind him, Father Sean Carroll, S.J., who has helmed the bi-national KBI since its founding eight years ago, went back to school. The main motivation behind the decision was to bring more formal business education and expertise to the KBI as its work and outreach grow in both the U.S. and Mexico. As Father Sean describes his past year in the Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) program, his studies have definitely delivered in all areas, particularly finance and strategy.

Father Sean’s enrollment in GEMBA is also consistent with an aim of former Society of Jesus Superior General Adolfo Nicolás—to train more Jesuits in business so as to better support and manage their works around the world. In fact, GEMBA is jointly administered by two prestigious Jesuit institutions and a Central American school that has earned the nickname “Harvard South”: Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business and Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C.; ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain; and INCAE Business School in San José, Costa Rica.

The 14-month program takes students around the globe in two-week international residencies (or modules), with classes covering a wide range of business management and international relations topics; the content, readings and cases are usually related to the particular location. For this ninth GEMBA class, the six modules start and end in Washington, D.C., where a graduation ceremony in July will mark the completion of this challenging, multi-disciplinary program for the 26 students enrolled. The other destinations on the roster have been Barcelona and Madrid, Spain; Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Bangalore, India Doha, Qatar; Beijing and Shanghai, China; and New York City (in July before graduation).

In between their on-site classes around the world, students complete readings, individual assignments, and take-home finals as well as participate in group projects involving online meetings, ongoing correspondence, and real-world results. Father Sean participated in a group consulting project, developing and presenting a strategic plan for an IT company in India to address marketing challenges arising from a competitor’s merger. In this hemisphere, his group Master’s project was a construction and implementation plan to build “smart” rooms—easily moved, solar-powered classrooms with internet access—in rural Columbia where children returning to the country after the recent peace accords can go to school closer to home. Working with Columbia’s Ministry of Education, their group outlined a proposal which would rely on a local coordinator to facilitate online curricula and programming to students in multiple grades, and presented it to Chinese investors with the expectation that it will become a reality later this year.

In addition to comprehensive classes (four per module) focused on business strategy, organizational structure, policymaking, innovation, and finance, the GEMBA9 students—drawn from 13 countries and an array of international business disciplines and fields, including some non-profits—learn from each other. (Father Sean is the only Jesuit in the program.) They live, commute, and study together, and share presentations about their organizations in peer forums, which offer opportunities for discussion and new ideas. The role of creativity and collaboration is already a common practice at the KBI where hands-on advocacy work and urgency drives innovative solutions like organizational partnerships to assist migrants, the new legal fellow collaboration with the Florence Project, and the art cooperative established by the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist who staff the comedor and shelter, which allows women to earn money during their KBI stay by making bracelets and earrings.

Even during his studies, GEMBA has been valuable to Father Sean’s approach to his work, in evaluating financial statements, considering bi-national strategies, managing communications, and balancing structural and innovation issues with an eye to the KBI’s mission. “The program has broadened my perspective, and opened me to new and useful business methods,” he explains. When he graduates in July, Father Sean will receive two MBA degrees—one from Georgetown University and one from ESADE Business School.

After 16 years away from academia, Father Sean admits it was an adjustment to dive into such an all-encompassing international business program and juggle director duties with multiple trips, assignments, and exams. The key, he says, has been the amazing support he’s received from KBI colleagues and board members, which has given him the latitude to take on this commitment. “I’m so grateful to them,” he says. “I’ve learned so much from being part of the KBI and working together to make it a reality…but being in the [GEMBA] program has given me additional tools and insights that will be helpful as the KBI moves into the future.”

Father Sean attends an evening GEMBA event in Doha, Qatar, with Father Ron Anton, S.J. of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and fellow GEMBA student Karyn Page

GEMBA9 students pose for a group portrait outside the Forbidden City (the former imperial palace now housing the Palace Museum), next to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

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A Migrant Story: Death in the Desert

A year-round tragedy, migrant deaths near the U.S.–Mexico border are a particular danger during the long Sonoran summer, where annual deaths in Arizona alone have grown alarmingly, from 12 in 1990–2000 to 170 since 2000. Over the last two decades, U.S. Border Patrol has recorded 6,951 deaths of people assumed to be migrants along the U.S.–Mexico border. Here, the KBI’s Father Samuel Lozano de los Santos, S.J. shares the story of one man’s heartbreaking loss.

Each year, hundreds of men and women journeying north to cross the U.S.–Mexico border die or go missing. Of the many stories of suffering shared with KBI staff members and volunteers, these are among the most tragic. Here, Father Samuel Lozano de los Santos, S.J., KBI Director of Programs in Mexico, offers the experience of one man whose journey to seek a better life for his family took a horrific turn. What follows is Father Samuel’s testimony, in both English and Spanish.

ENGLISH:

One day in the month of December 2014, when I arrived to the comedor where we receive deported migrants and people in transit, one of the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist asked me to speak with a migrant, and pointed out where he was. I looked toward him and he was sitting with his hands covering his face, as if he were praying, but in reality he was crying. I came up to him, and he looked at me with eyes full of tears. Between his sobs, he began to share with me his story.

He told me: “Father, a month ago my wife and I left our house. We had thought about it a lot, we spoke many times, and we made the decision to come the United States. We have three kids, and we want to give them a better life. In my town there is not enough money for them to prosper. I make 60 pesos a day [US$3.23] Imagine, not even enough to eat. My in-laws don’t want to help us because they do not support our decision to leave the town, and did not want to take care of our kids. My parents said they would take care of the kids.

“We never thought that we would live this nightmare, because up to this point, that is the way I see it, I am living a nightmare.

“When we made it to the border, the coyote crossed us over and, after walking several days through the Arizona desert, abandoned us. We were a group of 12. My wife and I started falling back. They couldn’t wait for us and my wife was already feeling sick. After walking for 14 days in the desert, without water, without food and tired, my wife was feeling worse every single day. She could not speak nor walk and I could hear a rasping sound from her chest.

“The moment came when she no longer responded to me, and I started to be very afraid. I had to leave her to look for help. After walking for three hours, I found Border Patrol, and I told them that my wife was very ill, and they did not believe me. When they finally became convinced that I was telling them the truth, we went to the place where I had left her, and we found her dead.”

The young father and husband, 29 years old, could no longer speak, and he let out a wail. I only put my hand on his shoulder, and the tears began to run down my cheeks. Finally he was able to speak again and, while crying, he asked, “Why? Father, why? We only wanted to go to the United States to work, and give my children a better life. What am I going to say to my in-laws, my children? Why?”

This true story is one of thousands from men and women who come to the comedor and shelter, tired, humiliated, needy…

SPANISH:

Un día del mes de diciembre del 2014, al llegar yo a nuestro comedor donde atendemos a migrantes deportados y en tránsito, una de las religiosas Misioneras de la Eucaristía, me pidió que platicara con un migrante y me indicó donde él estaba. Dirigí mi mirada hacia él, estaba con sus manos cubriendo su cara, como si rezara, pero más bien, estaba llorando. Me acerqué a él, y me miró con sus ojos cubiertos de lágrimas, entre sollozos empezó a compartirme su historia como migrante.

Me dijo: “Padre, hace un mes salimos de nuestra casa mi esposa y yo, lo pensamos mucho, platicamos muchas veces y tomamos la decisión de venir a Estados Unidos, tenemos tres hijos y queremos darles una vida mejor.  En mi pueblo no nos alcanza para sacarlos adelante, yo gano 60 pesos al día, imagínese, ni pa comer. Mis suegros no quisieron apoyarnos, pues no estaban de acuerdo en que saliéramos del pueblo y no quisieron cuidar a nuestros hijos. Mis padres dijeron que ellos los cuidarían.

“Nunca creímos que viviríamos esta pesadilla, porque hasta ahora, así lo veo, estoy viviendo una pesadilla.

“Al llegar a la frontera, el coyote que nos cruzó, después de caminar  varios días por el desierto de Arizona, nos abandonó. Éramos un grupo como de doce. Mi esposa y yo nos fuimos quedando atrás, no podían esperarnos, mi esposa ya se sentía muy mal. Después de andar por 14 días por el desierto, sin agua, sin comida y cansados, mi esposa se fue sintiendo cada día peor, ya no podía hablar ni caminar y solo se escuchaba como un ronquido de su pecho.

“Llegó el momento en que ya no me respondía, yo sentí mucho miedo, y tuve que dejarla para ir a buscar ayuda. Después de caminar por tres horas, me encontró la migra y les dije que mi esposa estaba muy mal, no me creían. Cuando se convencieron de que les estaba diciendo la verdad fuimos hasta el lugar donde había dejado a mi esposa, y la encontramos muerta.”

El joven padre y esposo de 29 años ya no pudo hablar y soltó el llanto, yo solo puse mi mano en su hombro y también las lágrimas empezaron a correr por mis mejillas. Al fin pudo hablar de nuevo, y sin dejar de llorar me dice: “Por qué? padre, por qué? si solo queríamos llegar a Estado Unidos para trabajar y darles a mis hijos lo mejor. Ahora qué les voy a decir a mis suegros, y a mis hijos, por qué…..?”

Esta historia real es una de los miles de hombres y mujeres que llegan a nuestro comedor y albergue, cansados, humillados, necesitados…

Images of candles along the U.S.–Mexico border fence honor migrants who have died on the journey.
Photo courtesy of Colibrí Center for Human Rights.

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KBI Media Report: May 2017

This month, we share news about the impact of U.S. immigration, detention, and deportation policies as well as the U.S. budget on the lives of immigrants throughout the country. And we include an article about how Catholics are responding to the immigration crisis.

Embed from Getty Images At Academia Avance in Los Angeles, where a father who has lived in the U.S. for 27 years was arrested by immigration officials when he dropped his daughter off for school, immigrants take a workshop to make a preparedness plan, in case they are confronted with the same situation. Arrests of non-criminal immigrants have risen sharply under the Trump administration. Photo by John McNew/AFP/ Getty Images

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KBI June Announcements

As World Refugee Day approaches, we share information about the day’s significance as well as KBI news about: a celebration of volunteers; Father Sean’s honorary doctorate; upcoming Leadership Days; a reflection on the KBI’s mission; recent immersion experiences; and board meeting highlights.

  • World Refugee Day: June 20 marks World Refugee Day, an annual day to raise awareness of our shared responsibility to protect the rights of refugees. Sponsored by the United Nations since 2001, with commemorations around the globe, the day reminds us to be mindful of the 65 million migrants and refugees worldwide and work on behalf of their welfare. Read more about World Refugee Day at: http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/. And stand with refugees by signing the U.N. petition at: http://www.unhcr.org/refugeeday/us/.
  • Annual Thank You Celebration: The KBI honored our volunteers with a celebration at El Rancho Bellotoso in Nogales, Sonora. We are ever-grateful for the service of these wonderful volunteers who make our work possible and keep the doors of the comedor open 365 days a year. Enjoy photos from the celebration here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1437620946317847.1073741837.107724095974212&type=1&l=2b4f7efc2a
  • Honorary Doctorate for Father Sean: Fairfield University in Connecticut presented Father Sean Carroll, S.J. with an honorary doctorate in acknowledgement of his work with the KBI. Read more about Fairfield’s commencement celebration here: http://news.fairfield.edu/topstories/topstoryheadline,156190,en.html.
  • Kino Teens Leadership Days: Our second annual Kino Teens Leadership Days is happening in late June. This five-day conference of 15 students from 10 high schools across the U.S. includes workshops, presentations, and hands-on experience about the reality of the border and ways to accompany migrants, and helps to establish a network of young leaders dedicated to affecting change. We are so proud of these bright and engaged young people!
  • A Word about the Work of the KBI: After the success of the KBI’s Annual Fundraising Dinner in March, Board President Lucy Howell was inspired to write a summary of the KBI’s mission and work for a wider audience: https://ivcusa.org/2017/05/ignatian-volunteer-reflects-on-kino-border-initiative-nogales-azsonora/. And we wish to thank Karla for her work on the Dinner Committee, and artist Hilario Gutierrez for donating a painting to the silent auction, with apologies for these omissions in our last newsletter.
  • Immersion Experiences: Even as the summer heat takes hold, the KBI continues its immersion program with three student groups visiting during May.
Immersion Group # of participants # of days at the KBI
Notre Dame Preparatory
Scottsdale, AZ
10 participants  1 day
University of Scranton
Scranton, CA
10 participants 7 days
Canisius College
Buffalo, NY
10 participants 5 days

 

  • KBI Board Meeting Highlights: The May 25 KBI board meeting covered various committee reports, the KBI/Florence Project legal fellow who will work with asylum seekers starting in August, and ways to continue to meet the changing needs of deported migrants who arrive at the comedor and shelter.

Children of KBI volunteers and servers enjoy themselves at the annual thank you celebration.
Photo by Beto Guzman.

The servers and volunteers of the KBI gather for a group portrait.
Photo by Beto Guzman.

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Contact Congress to Support Migrants and Refugees

In honor of World Refugee Day, we ask you to join the KBI in letting our congressional leaders know that we support humane immigration policies that keep families together and offer opportunities for a better life. New policies arise weekly, if not daily—proposed budget allocations for border enforcement, decreased requirements for Border Patrol applicants, increased penalties for illegal entry, longer detention periods—so your voice is vital to the cause any and every time you choose to call.

The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service makes it easy by outlining the process and issues. For Congressional contact information and sample scripts, go to: https://secure2.convio.net/lirs/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=00000000.app263a?alertId=265&pg=makeACall&NONCE_TOKEN=AEF6B751C597B4EF117DE18F7DA22D83#.WTXYCVfMj7Z.

As more individuals and families are targeted for arrest, detention, and deportation, the KBI urges everyone to call congressional leaders to advocate for compassionate immigration policies.
Photo by Larry Hanelin.

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More Room at the Table

With a record number of KBI supporters gathering for the Seventh Annual KBI Dinner, the event moved to a larger venue, raised more funds than ever before, and sent a strong message about advocacy, inclusion, and compassion.

The yearly KBI fundraising dinners in Phoenix are always occasions for both celebration—of the continuing work of the KBI on behalf of migrants—and reflection—about the suffering faced by migrants and their families, and how we can come together to ease it. The Seventh Annual KBI Dinner on Saturday, March 25, was no exception, with education and advocacy as central themes. As a major cornerstone of the KBI’s fundraising efforts, the event exceeded all expectation by raising more than $175,000 for the KBI’s crucial programming.

The 370 guests in attendance—one-hundred more than last year!—initially gathered in the courtyard of Brophy College Preparatory, to mingle with each other and KBI staff, enjoy the donated libations, and place bids on silent auction items, which included migrant artwork, gift baskets, Mata Ortiz pottery, Diamondback and Phoenix Sun tickets, a photograph of Michelangelo’s Pietà, and more. The gentle breeze carried melodious guitar strains contributed by the talented Paul Fisko, Brophy assistant principal for ministry. As in years past, Paul led the guests into Harper Great Hall with music, where beautifully set tables were adorned with potted herb centerpieces, planted and assembled by the eighth-grade National Honor Society students of St. Francis Xavier Elementary who included touching thank you notes to those in attendance. (These were auctioned to enthusiastic bidders at the end of the evening.)

After a blessing from Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares of Phoenix, guests were invited to experience the KBI through a demonstration by the KBI’s Sister Alicia Guevara Perez and a moving video from Brophy instructor Peter Burr. Sister Alicia led everyone in a hand motion exercise she performs with the migrants at the comedor each morning, alternating right and left, and engaging the brain and body in a therapeutic way that restores a sense of lightness and laughter, and encourages connection with other participants. After the exercise, the feeling of togetherness in the room was palpable as Father Sean Carroll, executive director of the KBI, welcomed everyone and acknowledged their generous support for the KBI’s direct aid, advocacy, education, and research. (Watch a video of Sister Alicia doing these exercises with the migrants in the comedor, below.)

Peter Burr’s video, “Kino Border Initiative: The Church Without Frontiers,” built on that unity and empathy by sharing specific migrant stories told by those who had lived the experience. Many of those gathered had heard such narratives before, directly or indirectly, but for those guests new to the KBI’s bi-national work and mission, the film was particularly transformative, revealing a side to the immigration debate we rarely see in mainstream media. (Watch the video at: https://vimeo.com/206180020 .)

A highlight of the festivities was the Pope Francis Award, honoring the long-time service and dedication of KBI supporter Frank M. Barrios, also board president of the Phoenix St. Vincent de Paul Society, a local historian and author, and an active community leader. As in previous years, the award was a striking portrait of a migrant by Tucson artist Pamela Hoffmeister, an acknowledgement of how seeing faces and hearing stories helps create and strengthen the bond among all of us. Indeed the dinner guests were surrounded by migrant photographs and images from the KBI, testifying to our common humanity.

Throughout, emcee Rick DeBruhl kept the program moving along, taking on auction duties after dinner. Live auction items included a day of golf with private lessons; a painting by international artist Hilario Gutierrez; and two prizes so popular, they were auctioned twice— a round-trip airplane ride for dinner in Sedona; and a KBI weekend with dinner prepared by Fathers Sean and Pete at the Nogales Jesuit residence and a night at the Tubac Golf and Spa Resort. As a last-minute addition, KBI staff brought along another exquisitely rendered painting by a migrant artist depicting a father comforting his child on the migrant trail. Father Dan Sullivan, S.J., pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church in Phoenix, offered a benediction to close the evening.

With immigration issues at the fore, Dinner Committee co-chairs Darci Haydukovich and Debbie DiCarlo planned and orchestrated this remarkable event, sensitive to the role it plays in advancing education and encouraging advocacy for migrants. Along with seven devoted committee members and 37 table captains, they filled the hall with supporters, raising both awareness and funds. Though it is one evening, this level of commitment affirms the work and extends the mission of the KBI all year long.

THANK YOU!

Many thanks to all who donated to the Seventh Annual Kino Border Initiative Dinner and who made this annual fundraiser possible, specifically: Darci Haydukovich and Debbie DiCarlo, in their second year of co-chairing the event, and the entire Phoenix Dinner Committee of Linda Replogle, Lisa Grant, Mary Johnson, Mary Novotny, Patti Thoeny, Bob Ryan, Lucy Howell, Dora Vasquez, Javier Fierro, Mary Permoda, Maddie Murphy-Larkin, Pete Burr, Paul Fisko, Rose Circello, and Father Sean Carroll, S.J. We also thank Brophy College Preparatory for hosting the evening; the Brophy College Preparatory students who provided reception and dinner service; Wren House Brewing Company for the beer and an anonymous donor for the wine; The Society of St. Vincent de Paul for the Pietá photograph; artist Pamela Hoffmeister for her migrant portrait for the Pope Francis Award; Rick DeBruhl for covering emcee and auctioneer duties; Brophy assistant principal for ministry Paul Fisko for his musical accompaniment; Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares of Phoenix for his opening blessing and Father Dan Sullivan, S.J. of St. Francis Xavier Church for his closing benediction; Patti Thoeny and the eighth-grade National Honors Society of St. Francis Xavier Elementary and their advisor and teacher Cari Sheedy for the lovely centerpieces; Dora Vasquez for additional centerpieces; St. Francis Xavier Elementary for the donated linens; Sharko’s for the fine catering; registration table helpers Valerie, Katie, and Jenny Howell, Lori Reents, and Christabella Parra; Brophy teacher Pete Burr for the moving video of the KBI’s work at the border; Maddie Murphy-Larkin for taking photographs; and KBI staff and board members for their invaluable assistance. Thank you, all!

NOTE: Check out the Cronkite News coverage of the event at: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ktgc4LdiRC8

At the reception, Father Sean with Greg and Taylor Maldonado, winning bidders of the one of two KBI Weekends at the live auction.

Silent auction items displayed in the courtyard.

Wooden crosses painted by migrant artists at the KBI comedor.

The co-chair husbands Rich DiCarlo and Steve Haydukovich were able and amiable bartenders.

KBI Board president Lucy Howell flanked by her husband Steve and Brophy assistant principal for ministry Paul Fisko.

Father Dan Sullivan, S.J., the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Community, with Father Sean in Brophy’s Harper Great Hall.

Emcee and auctioneer Rick DeBruhl taking bids behind the Pope Francis Award, a migrant portrait by Pamela Hoffmeister.

Diana and Rodrigo Vela won a beautiful migrant painting, a last-minute addition to the live auction.

Julie and James Allen with one of the herbal centerpieces, grown and assembled by the eighth-grade National Honor Society of St. Francis Xavier Elementary, and auctioned at the dinner.

The week after: Pope Francis Award honoree Frank Barrios with the migrant portrait he received at the dinner.

The week after: Co-chairs Darci Haydukovich and Debbie DiCarlo with thank-you bouquets for their exceptional event planning.

The week after: The KBI Dinner Committee gathers to assess this year’s event and start planning next year’s.

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Miguel and Clara: Families and Our Immigration System

When university journalism student Miguel faced threats in his homeland of Honduras, he fled north with his wife, Clara, pregnant with their first child. Upon their arrival in Nogales, Sonora, Paloma was born, but though the family was together for her birth—and later, for the happy occasion of her baptism at the KBI!—separation and uncertainty await as they seek asylum.

After months of bus rides heading north from their native Honduras—including weeks of detention in southern Mexico by immigration authorities there—Miguel and Clara reached both the culmination of their journey and Clara’s pregnancy. Her water broke as she departed the bus in Nogales, Sonora, and their daughter, Paloma, was born in a local hospital. Hearing about available migrant resources nearby, Miguel and Clara sought the help of the KBI who arranged for their shelter and care as advocacy staff began researching the best ways to assist the family in seeking asylum in the U.S.

Six months earlier, Miguel was a journalism student in the Honduran capital city of Tegucigalpa, and with Clara only a few months into her pregnancy, both prepared for the arrival of their first child with the usual excitement of new parents. But as a student and journalist with a commitment to freedom of speech, Miguel was threatened by parties associated with both the university and local gangs. Though he filed a police report, local law enforcement could only offer one or two of days of protection. In a country with the highest homicide rate in the world—59 murders for every 100,000 people in 2016 compared to an international average of 6 per 100,000 or the U.S. rate of 4—this was as good as no assurance at all. Miguel and Clara packed and left, with the goal of seeking asylum in the U.S.

Their journey was interrupted early on when Mexican immigration authorities detained the couple, releasing them with the instruction to go back to Honduras. But to return to such life-threatening odds, and with a baby on the horizon, was unthinkable. They kept going, arriving in Nogales in early April, just in time for Paloma’s entry into the world. Two weeks later, before undertaking the next part of the journey with her parents, she was baptized at the comedor with the KBI’s Joanna Williams and her husband Matthew standing up as godparents. A full dining hall gathered to honor this first-ever occasion for the KBI with a Mass and a special meal of grilled chicken and pink cake.

Despite all the love, faith and support surrounding Paloma at the start of her life, she and her parents face an uncertain future as they navigate the U.S. asylum process. KBI advocates are keenly aware of the worrisome factors: (1) the separation of Clara and Paloma, who will stay with a sponsoring family or community, from Miguel who will be held in a detention facility; (2) the independent routing of their asylum cases which would be stronger if considered together, since their claim rests on a threat to Miguel; and (3) the great emotional pain and uncertainty that this young family must bear while apart. It is just such legal matters on which the KBI’s new legal fellow (sponsored in conjunction with the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project) can advise starting in August as well as providing representation for Clara and Miguel.

Like the other infants who have stayed at the KBI, Paloma fills the shelter and comedor with delight, and brings a sense of hope and promise to the migrants, volunteers, and staff. As the KBI works to help her family, as Clara marks her first Mother’s Day, as she and Miguel ready themselves for the uncertainties ahead, Paloma reminds all of us why family unity, human dignity, and compassionate immigration policy are the foundation of the KBI’s mission.

Standing up as godmother, the KBI’s Joanna Williams, cradles Paloma with (l. to r.) her husband and Paloma’s godfather Matthew and Paloma’s parents, Clara and Miguel.
Photo by Sister María Engracia Robles Robles, M.E.

Godparents Joanna and Matthew with baby Paloma at the post-baptism party.
Photo by Sister María Engracia Robles Robles, M.E.

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KBI Media Report: April 2017

This month’s media report covers the continuation and escalation of harsh deportation policies that misrepresent immigrants, invite abuses, and separate families.

Embed from Getty Images. The current administration plans to expand the already extensive immigrant detention system of more than 400 centers to include local correctional facilities. (Pictured: A blind detainee walks with a fellow immigrant at the privately-run Adelanto Detention Facility in California.) Photo by Getty Images/John Moore/Staff.

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KBI May Announcements

Last month, the KBI released a statement on border security, signed by numerous southern Arizona organizations, hosted a live video conference and high school immersion experiences, and bid bon voyage to the Lourdes Kino Teens who set off for a visit to the Bay Area with Father Pete Neeley, S.J. This coming month, the Board of Directors holds their spring meeting.

    • Solidarity at the Border: The KBI joined 17 other southern Arizona groups in releasing a Statement on Border Security. It denounces the militarization at the border as a policy that is unsafe, ineffective, and unsupportive of humanity and the broader environment. Read the entire statement here: https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/southern-arizona-statement-community-security/.
    • Live Video Conversations: On Tuesday, April 25, the KBI and the Ignatian Solidarity Network hosted an hour-long live video conference, entitled “Witness from the Border.” The live event featured KBI Director of Education and Advocacy Joanna Williams in conversation with Andrés, a migrant in Nogales, Sonora sharing his experience and St. Louis University students who has stepped up advocacy efforts since visiting the border. There will be more of these live conversations later this year, the next one scheduled for September. We’ll announce the date and time soon. And here is the video from the recent conversation:

  • Kino Teens in the Bay Area: At the end of April, Father Pete Neeley, S.J. led a three-day trip to the Bay Area with the Lourdes Catholic School Kino Teens. The students visited their Kino Teens counterparts at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, and Presentation High School and Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose (who also sent students to the KBI for an immersion in April). Among the highlights, Lourdes Kino Teens met with past immersion participants, and Leadership Days students Yamelle González and Ana González gave presentations, prepared with the assistance of Teresita Scully, campus minister and theology teacher at Lourdes, about the migrant experience and immigrant advocacy to classes at Presentation.
  • Immersion Experiences: This past month, high school students from both coasts joined the KBI for immersion experiences.
Immersion Group # of participants # of days at the KBI
Xavier High School

New York, NY

12 participants 7 days
Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, CA 8 participants 4 days
Presentation High School

San Jose, CA

6 participants 4 days

 

  • Spring Board Meeting: Members of the KBI Board of Directors will meet on Thursday, May 25, in Nogales, Sonora, to discuss governance issues and review reports from various committees, including Advocacy, Development, Finance, Governance, and Ad Hoc Building.

Father Pete Neeley, S.J. addresses the Kino Teens at St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, CA.

Lourdes Kino Teens Yamelle González and Ana González give a presentation on the migrant experience and immigrant advocacy at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, CA.

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