Mexico-U.S. Border Immersion Faculty Seminar

The Center for Social Concerns invites Notre Dame faculty, staff, and their partners to apply for the México-U.S. Border Immersion Faculty Seminar. The seminar will expose participants to various perspectives about immigration issues, especially those related to the México-U.S. border. In the fall there will be three 75-minute seminar meetings, including one with the undergraduate student participants, to discuss the seminar readings. These readings will focus on why migrants leave their home countries, the struggles they face during the journey, how U.S. citizens are responding, and possible policy solutions. 

From January 2-7, 2016, faculty and local community partners will participate in an immersion trip to the Southern Arizona borderlands (undergraduate students will also be present, but will generally have separate activities). Borderlinks ( will facilitate the trip, which will include observing Operation Streamline legal proceedings; attending and participating in humanitarian efforts; touring a Border Patrol and detention facility; visiting a migrant shelter in Nogales, Sonora; and hearing from faith leaders about their current and past border activism. A primary focus of the seminar will be the intersection of religion—especially Catholic Social Teachings—and border and immigration issues.

The immersion welcomes Notre Dame faculty and staff, their partners, and local community partners who address immigration issues in the South Bend area. Graduate students are eligible for the undergraduate seminar rather than this one. Preference will be given to applicants who consider ways of connecting their seminar experience to courses or related issues in the local South Bend area, such as developing a community-based learning course with local community partners.


September 22, 2015


Southern Arizona Borderlands


 January 2–7, 2016




13-16 Notre Dame faculty and staff, their partners, and local community partners 


$2,000 Seminar Fee. Covers double occupancy hotel ($2,250 fee for single occupancy), travel on site, tour guides, and administration costs.
~$400 Airfare to and from Tucson, AZ. Participants make their own arrangements and pay directly in addition to seminar fee. Participants need to arrive early evening on Jan. 2 and not leave until Jan. 7. We recommend Southwest Airlines out of Midway in Chicago.
~$100 Additional Spending Money. Covers meals during travel, incidentals on-site, etc.


  • The agenda is subject to change in response to needs of community partners and changing conditions at the site. 
  • The seminar will only run if we confirm at least 10 faculty participants by the deadline.
  • Participants must have a passport valid for crossing into Mexico in January.
  • Participants must be physically able to participate in a difficult 5 mile hike into the desert (or may sit out that activity). 

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