This learning tour is designed to engage Anabaptist church leaders and conference representatives with the reality of immigration from a different perspective.
In a comprehensive way, participants will grow their understanding of the complexities on the U.S.-Mexico border, the sister communities affected by it, the different ongoing narratives about migration, and the fundamental role that MCC and its constituency has to witness, provide support, raise awareness and advocate to modify policies and perspectives on this issue.
In the midst of a myriad of debates about the southern border, many U.S. citizens make assumptions, comments, and decisions about the Borderlands, but have never been there.
Who are the people living in the border communities? What is missing from the conversations? How can we have informed chats about what is happening at the border? What are faith-based communities saying about the border? What are some of the humanitarian responses you can get involved in? These are some of the questions this learning tour is designed for and questions the participants will be reflecting on during the time at the Borderlands.
Participants will increase their understanding and knowledge of the social, economic, political and biblical/theological significance of migration in border communities, including advocacy tools and capacity building to engage others on borderlands and migration issues.
Participants will experience the complexities of the U.S immigration system, visa application process and visa quotas, asylum seeking process, family separation imposed by the “zero tolerance policy”, and the human factor on various sides of the spectrum. From interacting with migrants and their daily reality, passing to the affectations to sister communities at the border, continuing to the implementation of Title 42 and being able to interact with the Border Patrol and their perspective related to the enforcement of migration law.
J. Ron Byler, former MCC U.S. executive director, and Saulo Padilla, MCC U.S. immigration education coordinator, will be leading the tour along with other MCC staff and partners.
MCC will resource tour participants to carry out this work in their own communities, specifically through the provision of resources and other materials for participants to use, and to provide speakers and other resourcing for events or other activities on which tour participants might take leadership.
The cost of the learning tour is $800 (plus airfare) per participant. This includes lodging, transportations and meals coordinated by MCC.
After completing the registration form, make your payment here. Specify when making the payment that it is for the Borderlands Learning Tour
COVID-19 Safety Precautions
The Borderland Learning Tour coordination team will be continuously monitoring the Federal and State guidance’s in the U.S. and Mexico related to COVID-19. We will be in constant contact with partners, churches, and individuals involved in the planning and implementation of the Learning Tour to assess the situation at the different levels.
For this Learning Tour participants will be requested to be fully vaccinated and asked to wear face covering when visiting partners as we intend not to harm the communities we are visiting. Other considerations will be made on a case-by-case bases by the coordination team.
We highly recommend and encourage participants to take the necessary precautions the week prior, and in preparation for, the learning tour start date. We will request participants to have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to the learning tour start date.