The Advocates and Leaders of Tomorrow

High school students from around the country—moved by the migrant crisis and committed to change—gathered at the border for the first Kino Teens Leadership Days.

High school students from across the U.S. joined the KBI’s Father Pete Neeley, S.J. and Joanna Williams (far left) and Kim Miller from the Ignatian Solidarity Network (far right) at the KBI to participate in the first annual Leadership Days.

High school students from across the U.S. joined the KBI’s Father Pete Neeley, S.J. and Joanna Williams (far left) and Kim Miller from the Ignatian Solidarity Network (far right) at the KBI to participate in the first annual Leadership Days.

In June, eleven student representatives from eight schools across the U.S. participated in the first-ever Kino Teens Leadership Days, sponsored by the Kino Border Initiative. Part immersion experience, part symposium, training camp and reflection opportunity, the four-day gathering focused on learning more about the reality of the border; determining ways to accompany migrants even from afar and to work within one’s community to raise awareness about immigration issues; and building a network of young leaders throughout the U.S. dedicated to affecting change.

Starting and ending each day with a prayer or reflection, the students followed a full schedule of meetings, trainings, and visits, with meals and evenings for solidifying the friendship and solidarity developed during such concentrated work and thoughtful discussion. Many of the students had visited the border before or been members of their local Kino Teens chapter, and all came from schools who have sent immersion groups to the KBI over the past year.

Over the four days, the students served meals at the comedor and listened to stories directly from the migrants there and at Casa Nazareth, the KBI’s shelter. They visited Operation Streamline proceedings in Tucson, where group prosecutions of migrants often overlook potential asylum claims and result in expedited deportation and family separation. And they walked along the desert border in the footsteps of the migrants, a brief, but powerful, introduction to the difficulty and dangers of the crossing.

Back at Casa Saeta, the KBI’s lodging for visiting groups, the students discussed the border crisis, attitudes about migration in their schools and communities, and the struggle for immigration reform. In workshops, they learned about leadership tools and skills they could use to educate and advocate on behalf of migrants, developed a vision for advocacy moving forward, and laid out concrete plans for implementing that vision and staying in touch with other participants once everyone returned home. Drawing on work done before the gathering, they shared prepared presentations on topics such as the role of the U.S. Border Patrol, deaths in the desert, human trafficking, unaccompanied children, and the impact of drug cartels and violence on immigration.

The Kino Teens Leadership Days closed on a note of camaraderie and commitment, with a Mass celebrated by Father Pete and a chance for these young advocates to share what the gathering meant to them. Here are some of their thoughts about their life-altering experience at the border and their commitment, today and in the future, to accompanying the migrants who struggle for better lives and family reunion:

  • “This experience made me more knowledgeable about immigration issues, and made me want to be an advocate for change.”
  • “Hands-down the most memorable and worthwhile experience of my life.”
  • “I feel empowered and compelled to start a Kino Teens club in my school so that everyone can share in the experience.”
  • “It has given me more info and much more motivation to change the problem and make it better and advocate.”
  • “Seeing the faith in the comedor has impacted me to such great limits. I want their relationship with God, and after seeing everything, I can’t just go back to my normal life.”
  • “This program was amazing, awe-inspiring, and life-changing.”
  • “It has made me realize the difference we can make, and given me a sense of responsibility to improve the lives of these migrants and all others.”

THANK YOU: The KBI would like to acknowledge the efforts and commitment of the student participants and their schools: Alejandra Natera and Clarissa Martinez, St. Ignatius College Prep, Chicago, IL; Lauren Cueto, St Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco, CA; Michael Fissinger, Loyola High School, Los Angeles, CA; Duncan McDonald, Gonzaga College High School, Washington, D.C.; Juan Lopez Salazar and Matthew Zacher, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix, AZ; Nico Saavedra, Saint Augustine Catholic High School, Tucson, AZ; Pilar Cota, San Miguel High School, Tucson, AZ; and Ana Gonzalez and Yamelle Gonzalez, Lourdes Catholic School, Nogales, AZ. Also, heartfelt thanks to Our Lady of Consolation Commission on Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation for their funding; Kim Miller from the Ignatian Solidarity Network and Teresita Scully from Lourdes Catholic School (and the Kino Teens coordinator there) for assisting KBI staff Joanna Williams and Father Pete Neeley, S.J. in facilitating the experience; the parents of the Lourdes Kino Teens for preparing a Mexican fiesta night for the students; and Lourdes Kino Teens alumni for sharing their wisdom with this next class of leaders. ¡Muchísimas gracias!

Lourdes Kino Teens alumni share wisdom with the teens based on their experiences.

Lourdes Kino Teens alumni share wisdom with the teens based on their experiences.

A pancake breakfast prepared by three of the teens for the rest of their peers on Wednesday morning.

A pancake breakfast prepared by three of the teens for the rest of their peers on Wednesday morning.

The students plan how they will share the stories they have heard when they return to their campuses.

The students plan how they will share the stories they have heard when they return to their campuses.

Accompaniment is central to the KBI’s work; here students brainstorm ideas for accompanying the migrants from within their communities.

Accompaniment is central to the KBI’s work; here students brainstorm ideas for accompanying the migrants from within their communities.

Students make a list of ways they can defend the rights of migrants.

Students make a list of ways they can defend the rights of migrants.

Joanna leads a discussion about advocacy and ways to provide leadership about immigration issues in schools and communities.

Joanna leads a discussion about advocacy and ways to provide leadership about immigration issues in schools and communities.

An evening visit to Tumacacori Mission to explain the historical role of Father Kino, led by Father Pete (in white).

An evening visit to Tumacacori Mission to explain the historical role of Father Kino, led by Father Pete (in white).

Piñata fun on Tuesday evening, when the kids enjoyed a Mexican fiesta night.

Piñata fun on Tuesday evening, when the kids enjoyed a Mexican fiesta night.

A Mexican fiesta night celebrating new friendships and the good work accomplished at the KBI’s Leadership Days.

A Mexican fiesta night celebrating new friendships and the good work accomplished at the KBI’s Leadership Days.

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The Supreme Court Ruling on Immigration Relief

The Supreme Court split evenly on the legality of President Obama’s 2014 executive actions offering relief for 4.9 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. What now for these mixed-status families?

On June 6, the Supreme Court—a cohort of 8 justices with Justice Scalia’s seat still unfilled—handed down a 4–4 ruling in United States v. Texas, the case challenging President Obama’s 2014 executive order to provide temporary deportation relief and work visas to as many as 4.9 million undocumented parents of U.S. citizens (DAPA). The order also expanded a 2012 program which offered deferments to 730,000 non-citizen children who came to the U.S. while under the age of sixteen (DACA). The ruling leaves in place an earlier federal district court decision blocking the executive order, a result that undermines President Obama’s attempt to offer deportation relief, and leaves the future for millions of mixed-status families up in the air.

Among immigrant families and supporters of immigration reform, the decision is yet another disappointment. After years of Congressional gridlock and inaction, the order raised hopes that the plight of undocumented immigrants was finally being addressed and that the order would help keep immigrant families together. Now, the injunction against the executive order stands, at least until a new administration assumes control of the White House or, much less likely, Congress chooses to enact new immigration legislation. Another possibility is further litigation to challenge the injunction, and the case might even find itself before the Supreme Court once more, this time with a full complement of justices.

That is the legal overview of the situation. The human side is a more emotional and heartbreaking scenario. Individuals who have been in the U.S. for years or decades, raised children here, and contributed to their communities must continue to live in fear of detection and deportation. Without work visas, they are vulnerable to exploitation and abuses in the workplace, and their undocumented status also means they refrain from reporting crimes committed against them, such as domestic violence, theft or burglary, rape, to avoid informing government authorities of their presence. Most distressing of all, without the protection of the executive order, families are exposed to the very real possibility of being separated. Stories and statistics attest to the countless families who have suffered in this way—parents who have not seen their children for 10 or 20 years; adult children who cannot care for ailing parents; family members who have missed important family events—graduations, marriages, births and deaths. Though the injunction does not affect enforcement priorities announced in 2014 (namely, that individuals who have been in the U.S. for many years with a clean record are low priorities), fear of deportation infuses every aspect of life for undocumented immigrants, intensified by the high stakes of family separation.

The decision means that President Obama will leave office without accomplishing the major immigration reform he promised, and the media has reported on the impact of this decision on his immigration legacy. However, a more favorable decision would only offset other Administration policies that have harmed immigrants—years of ICE raids, most recently focused on Central American families; increased enforcement at an already over-militarized border; and the highest number of deportations and removals under any president in history. These are perhaps concessions to political leaders who do not favor immigration reform, but if so, they have not had the desired effect of finding a legislative compromise.

As President Obama acknowledges with a combination of pragmatism and hope, “Sooner or later, immigration reform will get done. Congress is not going to be able to ignore America forever. It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ it’s a matter of ‘when.’” The waiting continues with this most recent setback, as immigrants, advocates and organizations, the KBI among them, continue to work for migrant rights, the preservation of families, and a compassionate immigration policy.

NOTE: Please see the following Passages article from May 2016 for more background on this case: https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/the-supreme-court-and-immigration/.

The recent Supreme Court decision on immigration relief means immigrant families in the U.S. continue to be vulnerable to family separation. Photo by Larry Hanelin.

The recent Supreme Court decision on immigration relief means immigrant families in the U.S. continue to be vulnerable to family separation.
Photo by Larry Hanelin.

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Up Close: A Year at the KBI

KBI Staff Members Javier Fierro and Joanna Williams

Javier Fierro and Joanna Williams—Associate Director and Director of Education and Advocacy, respectively—began working at the KBI a little more than a year ago, contributing their impressive skills to the KBI team of staff, board members, volunteers and donors. Each has volunteered with the KBI in the past, and is deeply committed to the KBI mission of supporting migrants at the border, keeping families together, and working toward a more humane immigration policy. Here, after a year of service, they share some details about their KBI roles and reflect on the meaning of their work.

JAVIER FIERRO: As Associate Director since May 2015, Javier handles business and administrative matters for the KBI. While other staff members often work off-site—as close as Nogales, Sonora or as far as Washington, D.C.—Javier keeps the KBI offices running smoothly, the paperwork in order, and managerial and human resources tasks covered. In addition, he communicates regularly with volunteers on the U.S. side as well as vendors, donors and KBI partners in the U.S. and Mexico. His primary goal essentially matches his job description—to guarantee the sustainability and future of the KBI from the management side of things. In his words, he is “the person behind the scenes.” Even so, he can often be found in the comedor, helping to serve meals and offering support to the migrants there.

Javier is especially gratified that his work allows Father Sean (who used to handle these daily business duties before the KBI grew, year by year, in scope and outreach) to focus on bringing the KBI’s message to a wider audience. Father Sean’s September trip to Washington, D.C., to advocate before Congress during Pope Francis’s visit there was a particular highlight for Javier.

Though he has long been familiar with migrant issues and is an immigrant himself, Javier’s work with the KBI has exposed him to the ongoing, often unacknowledged efforts of the many agencies and organizations working on behalf of human rights and social justice. As he points out, news reports of deportations and family separation are distressing, but at the KBI he encounters the groups who are aiding migrants and advocating for policy change. “It gives me hope,” he says.

Javier (second from left) with volunteers who administer medical care to the migrants at the comedor.

Javier (second from left) with volunteers who administer medical care to the migrants at the comedor.

Javier at the comedor with Sister Alicia Guevara Perez, M.E., one of the KBI’s Migrant Aid Coordinators.

Javier at the comedor with Sister Alicia Guevara Perez, M.E., one of the KBI’s Migrant Aid Coordinators.

JOANNA WILLIAMS: With Joanna’s arrival in June 2015, the KBI merged its education and advocacy efforts under her direction. Building on the collaboration and communication so necessary to the KBI’s work, Joanna aimed to bring a more strategic perspective to education and advocacy planning. In the past year, the KBI board organized an Advocacy Committee and drew up strategic goals and plans for both sides of the border; Joanna has made several advocacy trips to Washington, D.C., and other cities; and organized the Kino Teens Leadership Days (see article in this newsletter) and February’s Walking in Mercy Youth Summit as well as numerous high school immersions to help to open the eyes of young advocates and future leaders.

A typical week for Joanna finds her in many places—meeting in Tucson with local partners; listening to migrant stories and documenting abuses at the comedor; participating in phone meetings with the Department of Homeland Security, the Southern Border Communities Coalition, or other organizations; and working on strategy, conducting research, developing curriculum, and catching up on correspondence back at the office.

Memorable moments from the past year include Joanna’s September trip to D.C., coinciding with Pope Francis’s visit, to call on congressional offices and share the findings of the recently released report, Our Values on the Line: Migrant Abuse and Family Separation at the Border, co-published with the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S. (http://www.jesuits.org/valuesontheline). And during the Holy Father’s celebration of Mass in Ciudad Juárez and a live-stream of the proceedings into the comedor, Joanna was moved by his words: “This crisis, which can be measured in numbers and statistics, we want instead to measure with names, stories, families.” As she recalls, “I could see the names, faces, and families around me.” The migrants themselves—their experiences and stories—are the strongest reminder of the KBI’s urgent mission, and the critical importance of education and advocacy in defending their human rights and formulating a more compassionate immigration policy.

Joanna (second from right) with the Border Network for Human Rights delegation in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Beto O’Rourke.

Joanna (second from right) with the Border Network for Human Rights delegation in Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Beto O’Rourke.

Joanna preps the student assistants at the Walking in Mercy Youth Summit in February.

Joanna preps the student assistants at the Walking in Mercy Youth Summit in February.

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KBI July Announcements

The KBI is pleased that the 2015 Annual Report is available—in print and online—and humbled that we are being considered for a respected service award. Also, our summer immersions continue, and a visitor from an immersion earlier this year has written an eloquent reflection on the experience for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA. Finally, we remind you to keep up with our Facebook pages for the latest KBI news.

  • KBI Annual Report: The KBI 2015 Annual Report is here! Copies have been mailed out, and we hope you find its contents to be informative and inspiring. If you’d like to receive a printed copy, please email your request to Ivette Fuentes at ifuentes@kinoborderinitiative.org. For the online version, go to: https://www.kinoborderinitiative.org/annual-report/. Many thanks to all our donors, volunteers and partner organizations who made 2015 an eventful and successful year for the KBI.
  • The KBI Is Honored: The Kino Border Initiative is one of seven finalists for Catholic Extension’s Lumen Christi Award. Finalists are organizations or individuals who demonstrate the power of faith to transform lives and communities, bringing the “Light of Christ” to those who are marginalized and in need. Nominated for this award by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, the KBI is honored to be among the finalists considered this year and awaits the result to be announced in the fall. More information about Catholic Extension and the award can be found at: https://www.catholicextension.org/lumen-christi-award.
  • Immersion Reflections: We invite you to read a three-part essay written by Bob Macpherson about his immersion experience at the KBI. He travelled to the border with others from St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina to learn more about the border first-hand, and shared his writings with Jesuit Refugee Service/USA as part of their Voices series.
    Part One: http://jrsusa.org/Voices_Detail?TN=DTN-20160520030652.
    Part Two: http://www.jrsusa.org/Voices_Detail?TN=DTN-20160527122424.
    Part Three: http://jrsusa.org/Voices_Detail?TN=DTN-20160603104123.
  • KBI Facebook Pages: Don’t forget to check out the KBI’s Facebook pages, in English and Spanish. They’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest immigration news and KBI activities.
    English: https://www.facebook.com/Kino.Border.lnitiative/?fref=nf.
    Spanish: https://www.facebook.com/KBI.migrantes/.
St. Peters Image

Visitors from St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina during their May visit. Read their reflections at jrsusa.org.

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Immigration in the News

The main stories among our news links this month are the Supreme Court’s deadlock on President Obama’s immigration plan (see this month’s newsletter article) and the plight of Central American immigrants, both traveling through Mexico and living in the U.S. Please check out these articles and videos to learn more about the future of immigration relief and the crisis faced by Central American immigrants.

 

Migrants traveling atop train cars to traverse the length of Mexico (close to 2,000 miles) risk injury or dismemberment en route. This past month, injured migrants called on the U.S. to use its influence in their home countries. Courtesy of Repositorio Peninsula.

Migrants traveling atop train cars to traverse the length of Mexico (close to 2,000 miles) risk injury or dismemberment en route. This past month, injured migrants called on the U.S. to use its influence in their home countries.
Courtesy of Repositorio Peninsula.

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Part-Time Educational Assistant Position

We are currently hiring for a part-time Educational Assistant to support in the implementation of our educational curricula. For more details on the position and information on how to apply, please see the following announcement: Kino Border Initiative Educational Assistant. Applications are due September 1st.

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Deaths in the Desert

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. (This article is reprinted from the Summer 2015 newsletter, with updated statistics and information.)

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 in the 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 time the KBI has been in existence (from 2008 until today), average deaths in the Tucson sector have averaged 375 each year—and these are only the ones we know of.

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 167 (Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner). Since 1998, more than 6,500 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—much lower in 2015 as are apprehensions, reflecting the impact of U.S. policies on migration patterns—but the loss of life continues to be alarming.

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 2,500 missing persons reports.

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.

Deaths and Apprehensions at Southwest Border
Year Deaths Apprehensions Deaths/Apprehensions
2009 420 540,865 0.0777%
2010 365 447,731 0.0815%
2011 375 327,577 0.1145%
2012 471 356,873 0.1320%
2013 445 414,397 0.1074%
2014 308 479,371 0.0640%
2015 240 331,333 0.0007%
Source: U.S. Border Patrol (based on fiscal year)

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Learn more about the organizations mentioned in this article at the following websites:

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.

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.

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Making Friends for the Kino Border Initiative

The social media revolution has been with us for a while, and sites like Facebook have made sharing news, photos, and videos with family and friends as easy as a click. Facebook is also a powerful online educational tool, informing friends and followers about issues and organizations that are important to you and concerns that require urgent attention.

The KBI and IKF Facebook pages—one in English, one in Spanish—were first initiated in 2014. Since then, the English page has garnered more than 2,500 likes/followers and the Spanish page (for Iniciativa Kino para la Frontera, the name of the KBI in Mexico), more than 700. The posts on these pages include news stories, advocacy alerts, announcements, photos and reflections about recent activities. Because new information is posted several times a week, the pages are more current than the web site and more frequent than the newsletter.

Here’s how these pages become education and advocacy tools for the KBI and IKF. As those of you already active on Facebook know, our posts appear in the Facebook feeds of everyone who likes/follows the KBI/IKF pages. But when a FB friend “likes” a particular post (by clicking on that very familiar thumbs-up icon) or comments on it, their Facebook contacts also get to see the post in their feeds. Each click or comment can add hundreds of viewers to the audience for that post, and several can add thousands. Moreover, your comments help the KBI know what’s on your mind, and we welcome your feedback and thoughts.

In addition, KBI/IKF friends and followers can choose to share a post (that is, display it on their own FB wall or send it in a personal message to another FB friend) by clicking on the “Share” option. This reinforces the impact with a duplicate post, sometimes highlighted with a few introductory words by the person sharing. Each like, comment, or share can dramatically expand the online audience for the KBI/IKF, and in so doing, enhances our education and advocacy outreach.

Of course, decisions about if, how, and how much to participate in Facebook and other social media are very personal—not everyone wishes to dive deeper into the digital depths of modern-day life or, if they do, prefer to use these social media tools as a way to simply stay up-to-date with far-away family and friends. If you have a Facebook account, you may already be among our online friends, and we hope that you check in from time to time to see what we’re doing and learn the latest about the border. If you are considering becoming active on Facebook, please look for us, like our page, and follow our activities. It’s a quick and simple way to support the KBI and IKF, extend our online audience, and keep border and immigration issues at the fore in this important election year. With your participation, some computer time, and an occasional thumbs-up click, you can make a big difference.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Check out the KBI and IKF Facebook pages as well as recently posted videos, including a new series called “Letter from a Deportee” and other KBI videos.

A May post from the KBI and IKF Facebook pages shows visitors from St. Peter’s Catholic Church in North Carolina serving meals in the comedor.

A May post from the KBI and IKF Facebook pages shows visitors from St. Peter’s Catholic Church in North Carolina serving meals in the comedor.

This post from the IKF Facebook page shares a quote from a letter written by a deported migrant. “I am not a criminal; I am just a mother looking to reunite with my children.”

This post from the IKF Facebook page shares a quote from a letter written by a deported migrant. “I am not a criminal; I am just a mother looking to reunite with my children.”

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KBI June Announcements

The Kino Border Initiative 2015 Annual Report will soon be out, and Kino Teens are making their influence felt in an upcoming youth leadership conference and an article on a summit earlier this year.

  • KBI Annual Report: This coming month, the KBI will release its 2015 Annual Report, an overview of the reality at the border and the notable events and activities of the past year. Please look for the report in your mailbox soon, or email us to request a copy at ifuentes@kinoborderinitiative.org. Thanks to all our donors, volunteers and partner organizations who help the KBI respond to the crisis at the border with both urgency and compassion.
  • Kino Teens Leadership Days: Later this month, from June 26–29, the Kino Teens will sponsor a border gathering of high school students from around the country. The participants will meet to discuss border issues, and ways to support immigration reform and advocate in their communities on behalf of migrants. For many of the young people, this experience provides inspiration for putting their faith into action and shows them what they can accomplish with conviction, conscience, and a little help from their friends.
  • Walking in Mercy Youth Summit: The Carmelite Review published an article about February’s Walking in Mercy Youth Summit, a day-long meeting of students from four southern Arizona high schools held in Tucson. Read about it here: http://online.fliphtml5.com/omno/fqlj/#p=26.
The teens break into groups at February’s Walking in Mercy Youth Summit to discuss ideas for spreading awareness of border issues at their schools.

The teens break into groups at February’s Walking in Mercy Youth Summit to discuss ideas for spreading awareness of border issues at their schools.

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The Raids Continue—Help Stop Them

The U.S. has renewed its apprehension, detention and deportation efforts begun earlier this year, targeting Central American immigrants who have fled some of the highest violence and homicide rates in the world. Stand with the KBI in voicing your objection to an unjust deportation initiative and demanding a halt to the raids. Here is a letter you can sign from the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S. and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA to President Obama that outlines the urgent need to protect these immigrants: http://cqrcengage.com/jesuit/app/onestep-write-a-letter?0&engagementId=207633.

And here is a report from the American Immigration Council with more background about the experience of these Central American families: http://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/special-reports/deported-central-american-families.

Finally, here is a video of ACLU Ambassador, actor Demian Bichir, outlining immigrant rights in the face of these raids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55VnDKpnNEE.

The United States has renewed efforts to deport Central American immigrants. Photo from Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S. and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA email alert.

The United States has renewed efforts to deport Central American immigrants.
Photo from Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S. and Jesuit Refugee Service/USA email alert.

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