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BU Today – Border Studies Program Gives Opportunity to Learn About Migrant Communities

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Photo Courtesy of BU Today

Boston University’s Mexico-US Border Studies Program gave students the unique opportunity to work with migrants directly at the Texas/Mexico border in March. Traveling with a number of BU faculty, including CISWH’s Professor Luz López, students from several BU schools collaborated with local organizations in Texas to provide services to migrant families. In a BU Today story, students and faculty share their firsthand experiences working with migrant communities in the Rio Grande Valley. 

Excerpt from “Border Studies Program Offers Chance to Learn about Migrants and Border Wall Firsthand” by Sara Rimer, originally published in BU Today: 

It’s one thing to study the US/Mexico border, US immigration policy, and the complex challenges facing migrants in the classroom. It’s another kind of learning altogether to travel with BU faculty to the Rio Grande Valley to see the border wall and meet the migrants and the people working with them firsthand.

Nine students in BU’s 2022 Mexico-US Border Studies Program—part of the University-wide Initiative on Forced Displacement led by Carrie Preston, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of English and of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, and Muhammad Zaman, a College of Engineering professor of biomedical engineering and of materials science and engineering—had the opportunity to do both this year.

After a series of seminars, readings, and class discussions this past fall, with topics ranging from the history of US immigration policy to migrant health during the pandemic, the students, along with Preston, director of the Border Studies Program, and Luz M. López, a School of Social Work clinical professor and director of the Global Health Core at the Center of Innovation in Social Work & Health at SSW, spent nearly two weeks earlier this month visiting the lower Rio Grande Valley, an area that encompasses Brownsville and McAllen, Tex., and Matamoros and Reynosa, Mexico.