USD Offers Education, Support for People at U.S-Mexico Border

CandlelightA border solidarity candlelight vigil is one of several events this week hosted by the USD campus community to address the current humanitarian crisis at the U.S-Mexico border.

The humanitarian crisis that has befallen people from Central America who are seeking asylum in the United States and have been in Mexico deserves our attention and understanding at the University of San Diego.

The border is less than 25 miles from the USD campus and, as a Catholic university and an institution dedicated to Catholic mission and values, it behooves our campus community to take action. There is an informative immigration resources webpage with links on the university’s website.

Furthermore, this week, USD has multiple events that connect to increasing our education about what is transpiring at the U.S.-Mexico border, ways in which USD students, staff and faculty have been involved in work at the border and a USD Changemaker Hub-hosted opportunity for the community to support newly arrived migrants with supplies that can ease their plight.

The first event of the week took place on Sunday, Dec. 9, as the annual Virgen de Guadalupe Mass offered an opportunity to celebrate with mass at The Immaculata, a procession to the church, a dinner in the UC Forums. On Monday, December 10, Human Rights Day, which in 2018 served as a celebration for the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Kroc School hosted a discussion with three USD-affiliated human rights defenders — Casey Meyer, Veronica Musa and Janice Deaton — and tips for starting a career in human rights. Professor Dustin Sharp moderated the discussion with questions.

Today, December 11, five of USD’s undocumented students who identify as DACA students will share their experience of living out of status in the United States and their hopes for the future. The event runs from 12:30-2 p.m. in the United Front Multicultural Commons space (418) on the fourth floor of the Student Life Pavilion. This event is sponsored by the DACAlliance, Mulvaney Center for Community Awareness and Social Action, UFMC and the Women’s Commons.

On the night of Wednesday, Dec. 12, there will be a Border Solidarity Vigil: Renewing Our Call to Welcome the Stranger, at 8 p.m. on the lawn area of the Paseo de Colachis.

All are welcome to attend this candlelight prayer vigil. This is a space for reflection, for healing and to collectively lift up prayers for all those suffering on both sides of the border. Poems, quotes, bible passages and verses from other sacred texts will also be shared to underscore our call as people of faith to honor the human dignity of every person, regardless of national origin, recognizing that Jesus himself was a migrant.

The vigil will be immediately followed by the weekly Wednesday Mass for Peace at 9 p.m. in Founders Chapel, which will focus on the migrants in Tijuana.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, due to the recent actions of the caravan of nearly 6,000 Central American migrants and refugees arriving in Tijuana and seeking asylum in the United States, a question arises. Actually, several questions from the initial question arise. How can we best support the human needs and defend the human rights of the individuals and families who make up the caravan?

Please plan to attend “Teach-In: Migrant Caravan Tijuana,” from 12:15-2 p.m. in the Hahn University Center Forums A and B. The teach-in will be led by professors Ev Meade (Kroc School), Victor Carmona (Theology and Religious Studies), and Greg Prieto (Sociology and UndocuAlly program), and the Mulvaney Center’s point person in Mexico, María Silva, who will share the latest information about the caravan, take questions about the broader context, update you on the amazing work that colleagues and organizations across campus have undertaken with our community partners, and share how you can get involved.

One everyday way for the USD campus community to help support newly arrived migrants is to drop off items to the Changemaker Hub space, Student Life Pavilion 320. While many things are needed, some specific items would be blankets, sleeping bags, mats and tents.

The Changemaker Hub and the Mulvaney Center are working together on this effort. For those interested in making a monetary donation, that can be done with USD’s community partner, Al Otro Lado, which is a bi-national, direct legal services organization serving indigent deportees, migrants and refugees in Tijuana.  For more information, please email

— USD News Center


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