BorderLinks links people, like me, to the realities of borders in our world, and the US-Mexican border in particular, by folks visiting from across the United States and the world to see it and evaluated it for themselves. This 25-year-old + educational program headquartered in Tucson, AZ, makes sure participants are exposed to all points of view and encourages them in your reflection on their experiences and deciding what action(s) they wish to take regarding border issues.
For more than 25 years BorderLinks educational experiences has linked people to people on, and beyond, the US-Mexican border, revealing the human face of national and global immigration policies and trade practices in a binational setting, linking that experience and critical reflection to pathways for action toward a more just human community. Thousands of US citizens and citizens of nine other countries have participated in this unique opportunities promoting multicultural understanding and positive relationships between peoples. Between 800-1,000 individuals participate each year including delegations from university and community groups across the U.S. The program enjoys a high regard and outstanding reputation.
As a former Board Member of BorderLinks, I can honestly say that there is no organization to which I've devoted volunteer time of which I have been more proud. I have been across the border several times with their staff members. Each time I have been impressed by the people-to-people contacts that have been arranged, and by the competence of the BorderLinks leadership. Those of us who live relatively near the border realize how desperately U.S. citizens need precisely this kind of experience.
BorderLinks began in the late 1980s as a humane response and grass roots effort of faith-inspired communities on the US-Mexico border region of AZ to learn in depth about, and teach others about the the realities of international migration and its impact on migrants, their families, and both Mexican and US communities. It is a valuable, experientially based program that aims to help participants to understand the human side of migration, the kinds of policies and social dynamics that drive migration, and to help stop the simplistic media conflation of migrants with "criminals" or "aliens." Thousands of US citizens and visitors from other countries have participated in these programs that encourage multicultural understanding and positive relationships between peoples, including delegations from university and community groups all across the U.S. BorderLinks has earned a strongly favorable reputation as a program with integrity, one that exposes participants to a variety of viewpoints and challenges them to think critically for themselves about how to create more harmonious relationships within and across social, economic, cultural and political borders.