MCC Photo/Saulo Padilla

A section of the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border

Wall to Wall, Part 2: The U.S.-Mexico Border Wall

October 12, 2015

Presidents and pundits tout the U.S.-Mexico border wall as a national security tool, designed to thwart drug smugglers and terrorists. In reality, like many separation barriers around the world, our wall was also built to keep out the poor and hungry searching for a better life.

In our society, rejection of the immigrant–the other–still runs deep, whether due to fear, ignorance, racism or selfishness. All of these reasons are likely behind the recent decision to put women and young children fleeing violence in Central America behind another kind of wall–the walls of detention centers.

Download the full version here (pdf).


Policy updates

Colombia - On September 30, after much pressure from outside groups, the Colombian government suspended aerial spraying of crops. Recent health studies showed the chemical used is a possible carcinogen. The U.S. government has heavily promoted the use of fumigation to curb the cultivation of illicit crops such as coca, but instead it has often impacted food crops, water sources, houses and people.

Criminal justice - On October 1, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the Senate that would reform certain aspects of sentencing for federal drug offenders, among other things. A similar bill was introduced in the House on October 8. If passed, this bill would be the first time the federal government has reduced mandatory minimum sentences.


Upcoming events

October 16 is World Food Day. Find resources for your congregation to use on our blog.

January 22 is the deadline for entering our high school essay contest. All students at Mennonite high schools or who are members of a Mennonite, Brethren in Christ or other Anabaptist congregation are eligible to win up to $1,000.

April 15-18 Join us here in Washington, DC for Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2016. This year's theme is "Lift Every Voice! Racism, Class, and Power."


Recent articles

7 years old, three wars (Palestine and Israel)

Making peace practical (Colombia)

Peace I leave with you (Nigeria)

"The bombs kept following us" (Syria)


Action alerts


Resources

Resources on preventing gun violence

The New Jim Crow project: Resources for your congregation to learn about racial disparities in the U.S. criminal justice system

World Food Day 2015: Resources include a worship service for World Food Day and a bulletin insert for your congregation


Staff updates

A warm welcome to Lakka Benti and Katherine Crosby, who are interning with us this fall. Lakka is studying international relations at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (Minn.). Katherine is a graduate of Eastern University and recently spent a year in Bangladesh with MCC's SALT program.

In September, Charissa Zehr traveled to several regions of Colombia to visit MCC programs and learn more about the context of partners and the communities where they work. Contact us at mccwash@mcc.org if you would like to invite her to speak about Colombia in your congregation.

Joshua Russell participated in MCC's "Pipeline to Prison"learning tour from September 20-26 in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach spoke at Our Community Place and Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Va. on September 24 and at Glennon Heights Mennonite Church (Lakewood, Colo.) on October 11.

Staff met with students from Christopher Dock High School  (Lansdale, Pa.), who visited Washington, D.C., in late September.

On October 2, Tammy Alexander led a seminar on immigration issues for students participating in the American Studies Program (ASP) in Washington, D.C. Invite Tammy to speakabout immigration policies at your school, church or event.