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Special Programs

Interterm classes

Summer Interterm Courses

Border Cultures, Communication and Immigration Rights


MFJS 3656/4656 - 4 credits

Dates: June 18-24, 2017
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Instructors: Margaret Thompson and Maria Suarez Toro
Registration Deadline: May 17 or when course is full (SPACE IS LIMITED)


This class will take place in Tucson and the US-Mexico border area to study the processes and negotiation of border cultures, the complexities of the lives of immigrants and immigrant rights, and the role and processes of communication and media related to these issues.

Immigration issues are front and center in news headlines, but this often masks the complex realities of many immigrants' lives, both undocumented and documented. For those who decide to cross the border, it is an extremely dangerous and arduous journey that all too often results in arrest by the Border Patrol and deportation. For others who are deported, they may have lived in the United States for many years, working and raising families. The towns along the US-Mexican border are a unique cultural site of people living transient lives, moving back and forth, some voluntarily, others forced across, with the massive 20-foot border security wall looming overhead.

This course will be conducted in collaboration with Borderlinks, an organization located in Tucson, Arizona that has offered educational programs along the US-Mexican border region for the past 25 years. Students will also meet twice during Spring Quarter 2017 to discuss assigned readings and prepare for the trip. They will complete short papers and journal assignments, as well as a final project due after the trip is over.

Activities on the trip include walking the migrant trail in the harsh Sonora Desert and talking to human rights groups active in the area; a visit to the Tucson courts where the controversial "Operation Streamline" policy is in effect, moving 60-80 immigrants in shackles through the legal process everyday; and discussions with immigrant defense attorneys and officials. 

Approximate Travel Costs*

Airfare:  $200-400 (Students are responsible for making their own flight arrangements.)
Program Fee: $1100 (Program fees are applied to tuition bill. Fee covers lodging, meals, and transportation provided by Borderlinks. )
Cancellation Fee: $1100 (Billed to student account in the event the student drops the course.)

*These expenses are estimates subject to change.  Cost of tuition is additional.

For more course information, contact Margaret Thompson  

SPACE IS LIMITED.  Apply online here. Call 303-871-4836 or Shannon Jahn to register.

Apply for financial aid online