KBI Reading List

By: Roxane Ramos

The list below covers only a small selection of the books available about the migrant experience, immigration and border life. They include works of fiction, non-fiction volumes, art books, memoirs, and children’s books, and all help to inform us about the issues of immigration, cultural challenges, family separation and even basic survival.

Non-fiction:

  • The Devil’s Highway: A True Story
 Luis Alberto Urrea, Little, Brown and Company, 2004.
  • Enrique’s Journey
 Sonia Nazario, Random House, 2006.
  • The World of Mexican Migrants: The Rock and the Hard Place 
Judith Adler Hellman, New Press, 2008.
  • Dead in Their Tracks: Crossing America’s Borderlands in the New Era 
John Annerino, University of Arizona Press, 2009.
  • Crossing With the Virgin: Stories from the Migrant Trail
 Kathryn Ferguson, Norma A. Price and Ted Parks, University of Arizona Press, 2010.
  • Line in the Sand: A History of the Western U.S.–Mexico Border
 Rachel St. John, Princeton University Press, 2011.
  • Run for the Border: Vice and Virtue in U.S.–Mexico Border Crossings 
Steven Bender, NYU Press, 2012.
  • The Beast: Riding the Rails and Dodging Narcos on the Migrant Trail 
Oscar Martínez, Verso, 2013.
  • Up Against the Wall: Reimagining the U.S.–Mexico Border
 Edward S. Casey and Mary Watkins, University of Texas Press, 2014.

Memoir:

  • Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon
 Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa (with Mim Eichler Rivas), University of California Press, 2011.
  • Crossing Borders: Personal Essays 
Sergio Troncoso, Arte Público Press, 2011.
  • Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University
 Francisco Jiménez, HMH Books for Young Readers, 2015.
  • The Land of Hard Edges: Serving the Front Lines of the Border
 Peg Bowden, Peer Publishing, 2014.
In the novel Under the Feet of Jesus, Helena María Viramontes depicts the lives and struggles of migrant laborers through the eyes of 13-year-old Estrella.

In the novel Under the Feet of Jesus, Helena María Viramontes depicts the lives and struggles of migrant laborers through the eyes of 13-year-old Estrella.

Fiction:

  • Women Hollering Creek and Other Stories
 Sandra Cisneros, Vintage, 1992.
  • The Long Night of White Chickens
 Francisco Goldman, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1992.
  • Under the Feet of Jesus
 Helena María Viramontes, Plume, 1996.
  • Mother Tongue 
Demetria Martínez, One World/Ballantine, 1997.
  • The River Flows North
 Graciela Limón, Arte Público Press, 2009.
  • The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel 
Brando Skyhorse, Free Press. 2011.

Art:

  • Ambos Nogales: Intimate Portraits of the U.S.–Mexico Border
 Lawrence Taylor, School of American Research Press, 2002.
  • Crossings: Photographs from the U.S.–Mexico Border 
Alex Webb, Essay by Tom Miller, Monacelli Press, 2003.
  • Curating at the Edge: Artists Respond to the U.S./Mexico Border
 Kate Bonansinga, University of Texas Press, 2014.
  • Children: My Name Is Jorge (poems for ages 4–8)
 Jane Medina, WordSong, 1999.
  • My Diary from Here to There/Mi diario de aqui hasta allá (for ages 7–10)
 Amada Irma Pérez, Children’s Book Press, 2002.
  • From North to South/Del norte al sur (for ages 6–9) 
René Laínez, Children’s Book Press, 2010.
  • In my Family/En mi familia (for ages 7–12) 
Carmen Garza, Children’s Book Press, 2013.
  • Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale (for ages 6–9)
 Duncan Tonatuih, Harry N. Abrams, 2013.
Return to Sender (for ages 8–12)
 Julia Alvarez, Yearling, 2013.
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KBI Movie List

By: Roxane Ramos

Over the past two decades, many films have addressed the trials and struggles, hopes and dreams of families and individuals who cross the U.S.–Mexico border to seek a better life and to be with loved ones. In addition to the titles listed below, there are also My Family (1995), Sin Nombre (2009), and A Better Life (2013).

* Now a classic and one of the first movies about the struggles and hardships facing those who choose to migrate to the U.S., El Norte (1983) by Gregory Nava relates the experience of a teen-aged brother and sister who flee the violence of their home in Guatemala for the promise of a better life in Los Angeles.

* Among the four narratives Alejandro González Iñárritu includes in Babel (2006), one details the interwoven lives of a San Diego family and their undocumented Mexican nanny and how crossing the border to attend a family wedding can result in painful and irreparable consequences.
Under the Same Moon (2007), directed by Patricia Riggen, makes palpable the dire and complicated decisions faced by separated families. An adolescent boy leaves Mexico after his grandmother dies to seek out his mother who works as a maid in the U.S

Who Is Dayani Cristal? retraces the journey of a migrant who died while attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert.

Who Is Dayani Cristal? retraces the journey of a migrant who died while attempting to cross the Sonoran Desert.

* In Who Is Dayani Cristal? (2013), actor and activist Gael García Bernal retraces the journey of a migrant who died along the stretch of desert known as “the corridor of death,” providing a rare view of what migrants experience on el camino. Each year 400–500 migrants lose their lives during the crossing. For more information about the tragedy of migrant deaths in the desert, please see this article from the KBI July issue of Passages: www.kinoborderinitiative.org/deaths-in-the-desert/.

* Documented (2013), a film by Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist José Antonio Vargas, recounts Vargas’s experience of migrating to the U.S. at the age of 12 from the Philippines to live with his documented grandparents. Vargas speaks out about his undocumented status in the hopes of illuminating the challenges of mixed-status families and advocating for policy change.

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What’s in a Number?

By: Roxane Ramos

Every year, the Department of Homeland Security releases a report detailing deportation and other statistics. From those numbers, we can determine whether deportations are rising or falling. But there are definitions—and implications—behind the figures.

The statistics seem straightforward enough. Even so, some sources report that deportations are on the rise at the same time others report that they are declining. How are these statistics counted, who is included, and what do they mean?

Most often, the deportation figures we see in newspaper articles, fact sheets and government reports are the total number of “removals.” Removals, according to Department of Homeland Security, refer to “the compulsory and confirmed movement of an inadmissible or deportable alien out of the United States based on an order of removal.” Essentially, removals are the forced deportation of undocumented immigrants when they are found to be in the U.S. in violation of any immigration laws. This is deportation through formal channels, involving days or weeks in a detention facility, a hearing before a judge or officer, a permanent record, a 5– to 10-year ban on re-entry, and because re-entry is now deemed a felony offense, possible incarceration if the deported individual crosses into the U.S. again and slim chances of gaining future legal status.

The impenetrable border fence prevents crossings at many of the formerly more accessible points along the U.S.–Mexico border, creating a “funnel effect” wherein migrants are routed through highly hazardous terrain. Photograph by Larry Hanelin.

The impenetrable border fence prevents crossings at many of the formerly more accessible points along the U.S.–Mexico border, creating a “funnel effect” wherein migrants are routed through highly hazardous terrain.
Photograph by Larry Hanelin.

A second way that people are made to leave the U.S. is through “returns.” Returns are “the confirmed movement of an inadmissible or deportable alien out of the United States not based on an order of removal.” Once called “voluntary departures,” these are less formal and the consequences, less harsh with fewer repercussions upon re-entry. A person may be allowed some time to take care of matters, tie up loose ends before leaving the U.S., and arrange for returning to their country of origin; they are not detained, have no hearing, and are subject to shorter bans to re-entry.

Many organizations serving migrants count both removals and returns in total deportation because it reflects a more accurate picture of the impact of U.S. immigration laws. In both cases, many undocumented immigrants are required to leave family members and the homes they have made in the U.S., often to return to situations characterized by severe economic hardship, life-threatening violence, or political repression.

Deportation statistics over the last three administrations reveal the shifting impact of immigration policies. Total removals and returns were much higher during the Clinton and Bush administrations, and this total has decreased dramatically during the Obama administration, as much as a third of the totals in earlier years (see chart). But removals—the method that imposes stricter penalties for re-entry, longer bans and potential separation from family, with less likelihood of obtaining eventual legal status—have soared. In 2013, removals totaled 438,421, ten times the number in 1992.

Source: Department of Homeland Security (based on fiscal year)

Source: Department of Homeland Security (based on fiscal year)

Much of this derives from changes in immigration laws starting in 1996 (and 1997 removals are almost double that of the previous year). These laws have expanded the number of offenses that can result in removal, instituted an “expedited removal” system involving immigration officials rather than a judge, and increased the enforcement budget. At the same time (and no doubt due to these policy changes), migration from Mexico has declined sharply, and currently net immigration from Mexico is zero; the U.S. is deporting as many migrants each year as the number who enter the country without documentation.

On the one hand, the overall decline in total removals and returns means that fewer individuals and families are impacted by deportation than in the 1990s and 2000s. But with removals outstripping returns since 2011 (and now more than double), the toll on those immigrants who are deported is much greater. It means more people held in detention and for longer periods (a Congressional mandate requires the Department of Homeland Security to maintain a quota of 34,000 each day in their facilities, at a cost of $120 per day per person, paid mostly to outsourced private companies). It means migrants who may have some legal recourse falling through the cracks if they do not have access to advocacy services or sound legal advice. It means, in many cases, returning to the poverty, repression or violence of one’s country of origin, with escalating penalties for re-entry. It means extended, or even permanent, separation of families, and greater likelihood that important life events will not be shared—graduations, marriages, illnesses, deaths. The cost in human terms is incalculable.

Undocumented migrants are deported with what they can fit in the small plastic bag provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These bags mark the migrants as easy targets for criminals at the border. Photograph by Larry Hanelin.

Undocumented migrants are deported with what they can fit in the small plastic bag provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These bags mark the migrants as easy targets for criminals at the border.
Photograph by Larry Hanelin.

It is in this environment that the Kino Border Initiative was founded with the mission of aiding and advocating for deported migrants, collecting and providing information about the migrant struggle, and working toward compassionate immigration reform. In the end, what the numbers tell us is that these efforts are critical—to offer options to those who seek a better life, to keep families together, to humanize the border—and that they must continue.

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Deaths in the Desert

By: Roxane Ramos

For migrants attempting to cross the U.S.–Mexico border in the sweltering summer months, a wrong turn or a leaky water bottle can be a death sentence.

In April 2014, an impressive delegation of Catholic clergy—including seven bishops and 17 priests—visited Nogales, Arizona to draw attention to the immigration crisis at the U.S.–Mexico border. While there, they celebrated a Mass at the border fence in commemoration of the many migrants who have died while crossing. Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston expressed the sentiment best: “We know that the border is lined with unmarked graves of thousands who have died alone and nameless. We are here today to say they are not forgotten.” In the Tucson sector, those deaths have averaged close to 400 each year in the time the KBI has been in existence (from 2008 until today)—and these are only the ones we know of.

The harsh desert conditions and limited shelter can prove deadly for migrants crossing the border. Photograph by Ryan Demo.

The harsh desert conditions and limited shelter can prove deadly for migrants crossing the border.
Photograph by Ryan Demo.

It is a heart-wrenching loss, attributable in large part to the increased militarization of the border and an intermittent fence that diverts migrants through treacherous desert terrain. From 1990 to 2000, the average number of migrant deaths each year was 12, but since 2000, that number has increased to 170 (Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner). Since 1998, more than 6,000 have died along the U.S.–Mexico border (U.S. Border Patrol).
According to a 2013 study by the University of Arizona’s Binational Migration Institute, the main cause of death is exposure, followed by undetermined causes, which likely include instances of exposure. Even with precautions, there are so many ways migrants can find themselves stranded—running out of water, sustaining an incapacitating injury, taking a wrong turn, or being left behind if they are unable to pay a guide who is extorting extra funds from them.

The chart, below, lists annual deaths since 2009. Apprehensions, considered a proxy for the number of crossings, provide an idea of the magnitude of the crisis. Through 2012, the death toll, even when it has decreased in absolute terms, has been an increasing percentage of the number of migrants who make the crossing. Since then, it has declined, but the loss of life continues to be alarming.

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In Tucson, several organizations are working to provide relief on different fronts. No More Deaths/No Más Muertes is a coalition of community and faith groups who, like the KBI, offers direct aid, education and advocacy as well as proposing humane immigration reform based on faith-based principles. The Tucson Samaritans is a grassroots organization taking action to prevent deaths by responding directly to the needs of those crossing the border; their volunteers hike the desert offering water, food and medical care to anyone in need. For the families worried about loved ones who they have not heard from, Coalición de Derechos Humanos and the Colibrí Center for Human Rights work together on the Missing Migrant Project, to help locate migrants who are lost in detention or in the desert, or who may have died while crossing. Colibrí maintains a database of the missing and the unidentified along the border with the goal of providing information to identify the dead; to date, they have more than 2,000 missing persons reports.

Participants in a KBI immersion walk the path of the migrants and learn more about the hazards they face. Photograph by Tricia Lothschutz.

Participants in a KBI immersion walk the path of the migrants and learn more about the hazards they face.
Photograph by Tricia Lothschutz.

Migrant deaths represent an unfathomable human cost of our current immigration system, and it is one that can be addressed, at least partially and in the long term, through conscientious and compassionate immigration laws. The KBI and others continue to advocate for immigration policies that keep families together and offer immigrants the chance to improve their lives, within the law and without fear. In doing so, they assert the value of the human person, the importance of responding to the suffering in our midst, and the basic belief that no one should perish in pursuit of their dreams.

For more information about the organizations mentioned in this article, please go to the following websites:
No More Deaths/No Más Muertes (English): forms.nomoredeaths.org/en/.
No More Deaths/No Más Muertes (Spanish): forms.nomoredeaths.org/es/.
Tucson Samaritans: http://www.tucsonsamaritans.org/.
Coalición de Derechos Humanos: http://www.derechoshumanosaz.net/.
Colibrí Center for Human Rights: http://www.colibricenter.org/.

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Up Close: Javier Fierro and Joanna Foote Williams

The KBI’s new staff members bring a wealth of experience and commitment to the KBI.

By: Roxane Ramos

The Kino Border Initiative welcomes two new staff members who are not so new to the KBI—Associate Director Javier Fierro and Director of Education and Advocacy Joanna Foote Williams have worked as volunteers in the past, serving deported migrants and supporting the KBI’s mission. Here’s a little bit more about them.

Javier Fierro, Associate Director:

3.a.JavierFierro

Javier Fierro has volunteered with the KBI from the beginning, making trips to the comedor to bring food and clothing. For Javier, giving his time, effort or expertise to causes he cares about has been a lifelong avocation.

As a volunteer adult education teacher, Boy Scout leader, statutory agent and treasurer for the Rio Rico high school boosters club, chair of his parish council, and most recently, as a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Tucson, Javier has dedicated countless hours to serving his community and fundraising for churches, schools and other organizations. He founded the Guadalajara chapter of APICS, a professional association in his field of supply chain and operations management, in 1992, and was its first president.

Javier studied Industrial Engineering at the University of Guadalajara, and has spent much of his professional life working for multinational companies in management, mostly in maquiladoras (manufacturing or assembly plants). Thirty-six years in the field and a Master of Business in Global Management from the University of Phoenix have given Javier a unique perspective on the ever-increasing globalization of business, which has an inevitable impact on the movements of people. As Javier points out, migration has always been part of human history, a topic covered in the textbooks his wife Leticia uses for her 6th-grade social studies classes. “As a migrant from Mexico myself,” he reflects, “I can relate to the needs and dreams of the people who uproot themselves in pursuit of a better life or who are fleeing harm.”

Javier migrated to the U.S. in 1997. He moved to Nogales, Sonora from Guadalajara two years earlier to work in a maquiladora, and to start the immigration process with his wife Leticia and their children Osvaldo, Alvaro and Cynthia (now 30, 28 and 26, respectively). The administrative process of obtaining a green card took two years, and Javier is aware that even with the bureaucracy and paperwork, his education gave him an advantage many migrants don’t have, allowing him to successfully navigate the legal channels of entry and eventually become a U.S. citizen. (He maintains dual citizenship.)

Javier’s respect for education and the opportunities it can provide is one of the main reasons he taught vocational and management classes for so many years. In 2008, he decided to switch careers entirely, obtaining his teaching certification in mathematics and teaching the subject in middle school and high school for the next 4 years.

After a brief return to management in 2013, Javier happened to be perusing the KBI website and saw the associate director job posting. He considers that God was showing him a path away from work focused on productivity and profit back to a vocation close to his heart—helping people and advocating for social justice. He applied and stepped into his new position at the KBI on May 11, bringing with him a wealth of management and leadership skills as well as a firsthand understanding of the motivations and aspirations of the migrants who the KBI serves.

Joanna Foote Williams, Director of Education and Advocacy:

SONY DSC

When Joanna Foote Williams first learned about the Kino Border Initiative at a 2010 presentation in Washington, D.C., she decided to participate in a week-long KBI immersion experience the following spring. Georgetown University, where she was a student, sponsored the trip, the first of what would become an annual excursion for the school, allowing participants to learn more about the migrant experience and life on the U.S.–Mexico border. But Joanna’s interest in immigration and social justice issues came much earlier.

Growing up in Denver, Colorado with an older brother and where her parents still live, Joanna attended school with many children of immigrants from Mexico, and she saw both the challenges they faced as newcomers and the comfort they derived from being together as a family; in high school, she volunteered teaching English to refugees, helping them to acclimate to their new home. When she enrolled at Georgetown, she declared a major in International Culture and Politics with a focus on Immigrant Integration.

There, Joanna worked at the Institute for the Study of International Migration, interviewing migrant families and contributing to various publications and research projects. Then, as a Truman Scholar, she spent the summer after graduation in 2013 at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, researching and co-writing a report, Persistent Insecurity: Abuses against Central Americans in Mexico, a document that provides more concrete data than previously available and highlights how government policies can set the stage for these abuses. After that, she spent 10 months in Mexico investigating the reintegration of deported and returned migrants in Guadalajara and Puebla on a Fulbright–García Robles Scholarship

In between her semesters and research work, Joanna continued to volunteer and live in immigrant and migrant communities—interning at Casa Chirilagua in northern Virginia, serving for three months at a migrant shelter in Veracruz, Mexico, and spending the fall of 2011 at the KBI. “The experience was overwhelming, but hard to leave,” she explains. “I’d encounter fresh wounds of folks who were arriving, deported, everyday, but with the environment of support and deeper reflection that the KBI offers, I think I also learned to love better, how to be present and commit to journeying with the migrants I’d meet.”

Before joining the KBI staff in early June, Joanna worked at the American Civil Liberties Union in Tucson as their Border Litigation Project Coordinator for a year. She moved to southern Arizona to join her fiancé, Matthew Williams, who she met while volunteering at the KBI. Now an architect, Matthew coordinated bi-weekly trips to the KBI for the University of Arizona’s Newman Center when he was a student. Of all the hopeful and moving connections that occur at the KBI, this is perhaps one of the more unusual and joyous. They married in May. ¡Felicitaciones, Joanna and Matthew!

Joanna, center, sorts clothing with other volunteers at the comedor during her full-time volunteer work at the KBI. (Fall 2011) Photograph by Larry Hanelin.

Joanna, center, sorts clothing with other volunteers at the comedor during her full-time volunteer work at the KBI. – (Fall 2011) Photograph by Larry Hanelin.

 

 

 

 

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Clothing Donations for the KBI

By: Roxane Ramos

Along with meals, medical attention and shelter, the Kino Border Initiative also provides clothing and personal care items to the migrants who visit the comedor. Frequently, the shirts and pants of the migrants need to be replaced after their journeys or stays in detention; and not surprisingly, their shoes are completely worn out. Your donations of gently used items in good condition can truly make a difference to the people the KBI serves, and help to restore some dignity and basic protection from the elements during a challenging time when they have left all they own behind.

KBI staff and volunteers help the migrants at the comedor select the garments they need.

KBI staff and volunteers help the migrants at the comedor select the garments they need.

Please consider making a donation of clothing to the KBI as you embark on your summer cleaning and purging. Or initiate a clothing campaign at your local church, school or other community organization. Types of garments and sizes are very specific, and so we ask that you consult the list below for the items that would be most helpful. If you have any questions, please call or email Ivette Fuentes at 520-287-2370 or ifuentes@kinoborderinitiative.org

Donations can be shipped to Kino Border Initiative, P.O. Box 159, Nogales, Arizona 85628-0159. Thank you in advance for your help and generosity!

After the long distances traveled, the migrants need to replace their shoes.  Photo by Larry Hanelin.

After the long distances traveled, the migrants need to replace their shoes.  Photo by Larry Hanelin.

Men’s jeans (sizes 28-34)
Men’s tennis shoes (sizes 7-10)
Men’s underwear and boxers (small and medium)
Women’s t-shirts (small and medium)
Women’s jeans (sizes 0-8)
Women’s underwear (size small)
Socks
Backpacks
Shoelaces (black or white)

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New Diocese in Nogales:

On Friday, May 22, in the city’s Macroplaza, a celebratory Mass was held to inaugurate the new Diocese of Nogales, Sonora, with Bishop José Leopoldo González González as its first bishop.

This development points to the possibility of more support and coordination among the churches and programs working with migrants and in the communities that receive them. Many people from the area attended the Mass as well as several Catholic bishops, including Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson and Archbishop José Ulises Macias Salcedo from Hermosillo, Sonora.

A Mass in the city’s Macroplaza celebrated the formation of the Catholic Diocese of Nogales, Sonora.

A Mass in the city’s Macroplaza celebrated the formation of the Catholic Diocese of Nogales, Sonora.

For more information on the establishment of the new diocese, please see this National Catholic Reporter announcement: http://ncronline.org/news/global/pope-francis-erects-diocese-nogales-mexico-just-south-us

 

 

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Art Fundraiser for the KBI:

Spirits were festive at the Hermosillo, Sonora home of gallery owner Lucita Aguilera on the evening of Tuesday, May 19, for an art auction to benefit the Kino Border Initiative. A number of people, including Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J., Fr. Samuel Lozano, S.J. and Sister María Engracia Robles Robles, M.E. from the KBI, turned out for the event. This is the third consecutive year Lucita has organized and hosted it, and the auction raised MXN$129,000 (nearly US$9,000). All the proceeds go to help KBI direct aid, education, and research and advocacy. Thank you to Lucita and her generous guests!

At the KBI Fundraiser in Hermosillo: from l. to r., Mariana González, Fr. Samuel Lozano de los Santos, S.J., Ms. Lucita Aguilera, Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J. and Sister María Engracia Robles Robles, M.E.

At the KBI Fundraiser in Hermosillo: from l. to r., Mariana González, Fr. Samuel Lozano de los Santos, S.J., Ms. Lucita Aguilera, Fr. Sean Carroll, S.J. and Sister María Engracia Robles Robles, M.E.

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New KBI Staff and Board Members

The Kino Border Initiative is happy to announce the following new staff and board members. Congratulations and welcome!

3.a.JavierFierro

Javier Fierro, KBI Associate Director since May 11, has a background in operations and supply chain management, most recently at Leica-Geosystems Mining, as well as in education, and has been a permanent deacon at the Catholic Diocese of Tucson since 2012.

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A KBI volunteer throughout Fall 2011, Joanna Williams started her job as the Director of Education and Advocacy on June 3, and formerly worked as the Project Coordinator of the American Civil Liberties Union Border Litigation Project in Tucson.

3.c.BernadetteRuiz

Bernadette A. Ruiz, a Tucson-based family law attorney with an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree in international law, joins the KBI Board of Directors, with the goal of helping to promote justice, fairness and humanity regarding immigration issues at our U.S.–Mexican border.

3.d.SteveHaydukovich

Steve Haydukovich, a new member of the KBI Board of Directors, is the Assistant Director of Human Resources at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.  He has been serving as a volunteer for KBI at our annual Phoenix dinner and providing assistance at the comedor since 2009.

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The Annual KBI Dinner Raises Spirits and Funds

Each year, this KBI fundraising event recognizes the urgent work of the KBI and the vital role of donors, volunteers and others in keeping these programs strong.

By: Roxane Ramos

Emcee Frank Camacho points to the lucky winners of a Nogales weekend, including a dinner cooked by Father Pete and Father Sean

Emcee Frank Camacho points to the lucky winners of a Nogales weekend, including a dinner cooked by Father Pete and Father Sean

A little drizzle did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the 260 supporters who gathered for the Sixth Annual KBI Dinner on Saturday, February 28. As planning committee chair Lucy Howell noted, “Weather is never an obstacle. We had to hustle folks into dinner once the rain started, but the support for the KBI was, as always, exciting and inspiring.”

Mingling in the courtyard of St. Francis Xavier School in Phoenix, attendees enjoyed a pre-dinner reception of refreshments and appetizers, sponsored by Maldonado Medical. It was followed by dinner, catered by local chef Vincent Guerithault and served by Brophy College Preparatory students. With Master of Ceremonies Frank Camacho, Phoenix-based news anchor and reporter, at the helm, this year’s dinner featured silent and live auctions, raising even more funds for the KBI. When two live-auction bidders vied for a week’s stay at a waterfront town house in San Diego, complete with lunch at the yacht club and an afternoon sail on the bay, KBI board chair Jane Lacovara and her husband Dr. Phil Lacovara donated another week’s stay for the runners-up. (The sailboat ride was courtesy of Lucy and Steve Howell.)

At the pre-dinner reception, Father Sean with Frank Camacho, Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, and KBI board member Dora Vasquez.

At the pre-dinner reception, Father Sean with Frank Camacho, Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, and KBI board member Dora Vasquez.

Also auctioned that night were a chef’s choice dinner with Father Sean at Vincent, and a tour of the KBI that included a night’s stay at the Tubac Golf Resort & Spa, and a gourmet dinner prepared by Father Sean and Father Pete at the Nogales Jesuit Community. (So now we know that they can cook, too! And raise $3,000 for the KBI in the process.) The dinner and auctions raised $124, 240, with donations are still coming in. Of that total, the silent auction raised $4,000 and the live auction, $14,000.

Jean Wallace, recipient of the Pope Francis Award, holds the Migrant Portrait she received in acknowledgement. With the portrait’s artist, Pamela Hoffmeister, and Father Sean.

Jean Wallace, recipient of the Pope Francis Award, holds the Migrant Portrait she received in acknowledgement. With the portrait’s artist, Pamela Hoffmeister, and Father Sean.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Pope Francis Award, given to Jean Wallace for her extraordinary support of the KBI’s mission. Father Sean presented Jean with a Migrant Portrait by artist Pamela Hoffmeister, who has painted a series of such portraits and is married to KBI board member Dr. Charlie Hoffmeister.

The KBI staff (from l. to r.): Fr. Sean Carroll, Fr. Samuel Lozano, Marla Conrad, Sr. Alicia Guevara Perez, Sr. Cecelia Lopez Arias, Sr. María Engracia Robles Robles, and Josefina Bejarano Padilla.

The KBI staff (from l. to r.): Fr. Sean Carroll, Fr. Samuel Lozano, Marla Conrad, Sr. Alicia Guevara Perez, Sr. Cecelia Lopez Arias, Sr. María Engracia Robles Robles, and Josefina Bejarano Padilla.

Once again the capable KBI Planning Committee arranged and hosted a marvelous event, one that extends the KBI’s ability to serve deported migrants, educate the public on immigration issues, and provide data for critical research and advocacy. As Father Sean expressed in his remarks that evening, the KBI is grateful to all the donors and supporters who make the KBI possible. We include photos by Johnny Lazoya, who donated his talents.

Father Sean with the evening’s dapper wait staff, student volunteers from Brophy College Preparatory.

Father Sean with the evening’s dapper wait staff, student volunteers from Brophy College Preparatory.

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