The Arizona-Mexican Border


The Arizona-Mexican Border

mike_1_web Michael Hagerty (J.D. ’13) used Tucson as his base for exploring issues around migration through Mexico into this border region. Hosted by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson, , Mr. Hagerty conducted interviews in Tuscon and Phoenix, as well as in bi-national border cities like Ambos Nogales, Douglas-Agua Prieta, and Lukeville-Sonoita. He made trips into the Arizona desert and the to the U.S.-Mexico border to understand firsthand the migrant’s challenges and governmental and civil society responses to undocumented migration. For example, he hiked the desert trails blazed by northward-moving migrants, and traveled to the Tohono O’odham Nation’s Reservation, a bi-national reservation that has witnessed the highest concentrations of both migrants and migrant deaths along the border in recent years, now divided in two by a 75-mile long border fence.

Mr. Hagerty’s case study provides the historical context for migration through the borderlands, describes the legal and human development aspects of immigration today, focusing on irregular migrants, and civil society’s responses to the humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

mike_2_webEvaluating this research internship, Mr. Hagerty observes that his time in Arizona “taught me that undocumented migration from Mexico and Central America is, unfortunately, an issue that is widely misunderstood in the United States today. I hope that my research plays a small part in shifting the discourse away from the rhetoric of fear and animosity towards migrants, and helps foster a political environment in which national and border security concerns are not addressed at the expense of human life, nor the civil and human rights of America’s economic refugees from the south."

Read Mr. Hagerty’s case study Over the Wall: Law, Human Development, and the Migrant Communities of the Arizona Borderlands (PDF Version)