Monday, May 6, 2019 (All day) to Saturday, May 11, 2019 (All day)

Join MCC Central States for a Borderlands Learning Tour focused on education related to a range of matters surrounding immigration, the U.S./Mexico border, the immigrant experience on both sides of the border, including experiential learning in ICE detention centers for adults and also families involving matters pertaining to asylum and issues related to temporary or permanent status, risks of immigrants with emphasis on the particular vulnerabilities that women and children face in the context of patriarchy, the responsibilities of U.S. citizens to practice hospitality and advocacy. Theological reflections on the role of Christian faithfulness regarding strangers and political theologies of nationalism and borders will be explored.

This tour will focus primarily on serving the MCUSA Western District Conference churches and leadership in response to their request to work through MCC Central States for a South Texas borderlands learning tour. 

The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) presents a particularly unique context due to its urban setting and geographical proximity to population centers in the U.S. and Mexico. The RGV also has a unique history with ICE enforcement, and an extensive history with the various forms of violence and militarization along the U.S./Mexico border. Finally, the RGV is home to numerous kinds of detention centers for adults, families, and separated children, which alone make it a unique context for learning about the violence of detention in a limited geographical area.

Tour participants will be commissioned to take their learnings back to their congregations and communities to articulate the borderlands region and machinery of the U.S. immigration system as a matter of violence that is in direct tension with basic Anabaptist convictions.

MCC Central States 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.