Our Border Teams
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Hello Friends -
After recognizing how important our work was at the US/Mexico border in the last few months, we've already pulled together another Team to continue with providing Unarmed Civilian Protection. Our Team members have hailed from California, Michigan, and Virginia. More Teams are planned for the future. Click here if you're interested in applying.
MPT has sent its third international team to the U.S. - Mexico border this summer where we stand with asylum seekers in Tijuana who know violence in ways that are unimaginable - the violence of grinding poverty, gangs, abuse, a legacy of war, and, often, U.S. intervention. They come carrying bags, babies, dreams, dignity, and tattered documents. They come from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Cameroon, Haiti, Russia and many other lands.
When they arrive in Tijuana they are subjected to an illegal and arbitrary asylum process that can take months or even years. From the time they leave their home countries, they are subject to countless forms of exploitation and danger ranging from extortion to kidnapping to rape. And then there is the process that awaits those who make it to the United States: detention, separation, a backlogged and broken legal system, and a culture of cruelty that is racist and xenophobic.
MPT is humbled by their courage and committed to standing in solidarity with those we meet at the border. It is clear to us that this is a manufactured crisis that is being manipulated for political purposes and that there is a deep connection between militarism and migration.
There may be a great deal of humanitarian work going on in Tijuana, but the violence de-escalation work that MPT brings to the border is unique and important. Our Summer Border Team will continue its work with Al Otro Lado’s Border Rights Project where we have been invited to provide accompaniment, observation, monitoring, and peaceful presence to asylum seekers at the U.S. point of entry and in downtown Tijuana. We will also continue our work with the Unified U.S. Deported Veterans and Veterans for Peace. In February, the vets asked MPT to place a peace team at a vigil and march in Tijuana. This team will deepen the partnership between the deported vets and our friends from the San Diego chapter of Veterans for Peace who themselves are committed to walking with migrants in Tijuana. Our most important work, however, will be to listen closely to the sacred stories of those who have made a journey few could imagine and then return home to bear witness to the truth of those stories through presentations and meetings with our elected officials.
We are organizing these international teams at a time when the demands on MPT are great. One of MPT’s key tenets is the team concept - everything MPT does is done as a team. You may not be able to join this team on the ground, but you can leave an impact at the border by helping financially.You can donate online by clicking onto the link and donating. Make sure you write BORDER TEAM in the notes section after you donate.
MPT thanks you for your support and commitment to justice and peace. Follow our blog and invite us to present upon our return. Most importantly, keep those who wait at borders, detention centers, and immigration courts close to your heart.
....an accounting from our last Border Team