About DukeEngage Tucson 2010

Immigration is perhaps the single largest domestic challenge facing both the United States and Mexico today. People die nearly every week attempting to cross the border. Hostilities against immigrants in the U.S. rise daily. Local, state, and international relations are increasingly strained.

For eight weeks this summer, seven students have been given the opportunity to travel to Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico to study the many faces of immigration. Following two weeks of meetings with local activists, a Border Patrol agent, a federal public defender, lawyers, members of the Tohono O’odham Nation, maquiladora owners, Grupos Beta employees, migrants, and local farmers, we will spend six weeks partnered with Southside Day Labor Camp, BorderLinks, or Humane Borders in order to further immerse ourselves in the issues of immigration.

This blog chronicles our experiences and our perspectives on what we learn while here in Arizona. We hope our stories are interesting and informative.


Thursday, July 1, 2010


Below are a selection of quotes I have heard or read in the last five weeks. Some are original quotes from people I have met, others are taken from pamphlets, others are cited from secondary sources.

“Nobody deserves to die in the desert for lack of a cup of water.”

“I want my voice back because you have criminalized me.”

“Mass migration reflects real problems […] people have a right not to migrate just as they have a right to migrate.”—Isabel Garcia

“I think there is no harder thing in the world than seeing your kids crying from hunger and having nothing to give them.”—Polita

“Give everything for what you have—your family.”—Polita

“Walls turned on their sides become bridges.”—Border Wall quote

“Walls are scars on this earth.”—Border Wall quote

“It is just as false to say, ‘I know nothing’ as to say, ‘I know everything.’”

“None of us is an expert, none of us is ignorant.”

“Are you going to try and cross back in to the US?”
“Yes.”—Man tried in a Streamline Trial, charged with a felony, and deported to Nogales. Streamline trials are meant to deter migrants from attempting initial entry and reentry to the US.

“I am sorry for entering the US illegally. I promise I will not try it again.”—man being tried in a Streamline trial for illegal entry in to the US.

“No human being is illegal.”—Derechos Humanos pamphlet

“But now the Bracelets’ upturned noses suggested there was another America to which we [immigrants] would never gain admittance. All of a sudden America wasn’t about hamburgers and hot rods anymore. It was about the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. It was about something that had happened two minutes four hundred years ago, instead of everything that had happened since. Instead of everything that was happening now!”— Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex, pages 298-299

“In December 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that Operation Streamline’s group hearings in Tucson violate Federal law.”—Joanna Lydgate from the Warren Institute on Operation Streamline, for full article see:

“None of us is free if one of us is chained.”

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