A View from the Border

July 1, 2024
Kino Border

BUFFALO, NY – A contingent of Canisius University students journeyed to the Arizona-Mexico border to participate in a one-week immersion experience that exposed them to the realities of immigration.  The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is a binational organization that ministers to migrants newly deported from the U.S. to Nogales, Mexico, while playing host to students and scholars who want to learn more about the complex realities of U.S.-Mexico border and immigration policies. 

“The essence of any immersion experience is to stand in solidarity with those we are with and provide them with a sense of dignity,” says Campus Ministry Director Spencer Liechty.  “We listened to the migrants, heard their stories and prayed with them.  Our goal was to affirm their worth and let them know they are valued.”  

With KBI representatives as their guide, students walked the same path that migrants do, from their immigration to the United States, to their apprehension and deportation.  They crossed the border to Nogales, Mexico to hear the personal stories from migrants and asylum seekers.  They accompanied the Kino team in providing humanitarian services to migrants, including warm meals, first aid, clean clothes and personal hygiene items. Students also traversed a migrant route in the desert and heard from rangers who make their home along the border and U.S. Border Patrol officers responsible for enforcing the laws. 

“The Kino Border Initiative is very intentional about providing opportunities for students to engage directly with all those affected by immigration,” adds Liechty.  “By gaining firsthand insights, students are empowered to develop informed perspectives and shape their own opinions.” 

To learn more about Canisius University’s participation in the Kino Border Initiative, contact the Office of University Communications at 716-888-2792. 

Canisius was founded in 1870 in Buffalo, NY, and is one of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the U.S. Consistently ranked among the top institutions in the Northeast, Canisius offers undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional programs distinguished by close student-faculty collaboration, mentoring and an emphasis on ethical, purpose-driven leadership.