Pursuing a humane, workable, and just migration process takes time, but we see the fruit of the work. Over the past fifteen years, Kino has worked tirelessly to bring about migration with dignity. As we move forward in faithfulness toward justice on behalf of our brothers and sisters on the move, we look back on the stories and experiences of migrants who have found hope and joy in challenging circumstances.
Emmanuel, a devoted father, husband, and business owner in Phoenix, was deported to Mexico, leaving his family shattered. He migrated to the U.S. in 2006, built a life, and started a painting business. However, he was arrested for driving without a license and deported.
The deportation has had a devastating impact on his family, particularly his children, who struggle with fear and confusion. Reflecting on the painful aftermath of his deportation, Emmanuel says, “I would give all the money in the world, all the freedom in the world, to spend just 20 minutes with my kids again, hug them, and tell them how much I love them.” With so many obstacles before him, that love and connections keep Emmanuel’s hope for reunification and sense of purpose alive
Tere is a Mexican woman who lived in Phoenix. She was deported to Nogales, Sonora, and faced difficulties reuniting with her U.S. citizen daughters. She tried to re-enter the U.S. but was apprehended and sent to a poor detention center in San Luis, Arizona. After her release, she moved to Mexicali and joined a friend from a women’s shelter. They helped cook meals for a growing migrant community in the area, offering support to people fleeing violence and poverty in Central America.
Tere and her friend continue to maintain connections with the KBI and advocate for migrants’ rights. “We are told [these new arrivals] are criminals, but in reality, they are not. It’s the same as what was said about me and my family in the U.S., but we were just trying to survive and give our families the best opportunities possible.”
Jose Luis is a Mexican migrant who was detained in Florence. The result of his expulsion from the border led to a dangerous journey that left him unequipped to handle the elements. His story emphasizes the importance of human dignity being preserved in the midst of migration. He now leads our painting workshops for migrants and is a well-known artist in Ambos Nogales.
Esmeralda’s family faced persecution in Guerrero, with a history of violence and danger in the region. Threats against her family escalated, leading them to flee to Nogales, seeking asylum in the US. However, they were caught in the metering system, waiting for their turn to present their asylum claims. Tragically, her father-in-law was murdered, and their situation worsened.
Now, they, along with other waiting families, are uncertain about when they can start the asylum process. “We have been fighting through marches and protests so our voice is heard in the United States,” she says and invites others to be part of the movement with her: “Be our spokespersons, stand in solidarity with us, fight with us. We are in this together, and we await your help so that they help us and open the borders as quickly as possible.”
“Reclaim Your Rights, Because We All Have Rights.” Alfredo Describes CBP Abuse And Recovery Alongside Saint Joseph’s Parish
Alfredo survived Border Patrol abuse during his migration journey from Guatemala. He was run over by a Border Patrol agent’s ATV, ignored, and mistreated. After encountering the Kino Border Initiative, he received medical help and filed a complaint that led to accountability for the agent involved.
Eventually, he crossed to the U.S., received surgery for his injuries, and began the journey to recovery. Though Alfredo is currently in the U.S. through humanitarian parole, he is seeking a path to stay in the U.S. for a few more years legally. “I want this to be an example to migrants not to be dismayed. If Border Patrol hurts you, reclaim your rights because we all have rights.”