CMSOnAir | Joanna Williams on the Kino Border Initiative
April 3, 2019
This episode of CMSOnAir features an interview with Joanna Williams, director of education and advocacy for the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). KBI is a bi-national organization based in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico that works to “affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity” through:
- Direct humanitarian assistance and accompaniment with migrant;
- Social and pastoral education with communities on both sides of the US-Mexico border; and
- Participation in collaborative networks that engage in research and advocacy to transform local, regional, and national immigration policies.
Williams serves as the primary coordinator of the educational and advocacy programs offered by KBI in the United States. She also helps develop and realize the organization’s advocacy policy and plan.
In this episode, Williams details KBI’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid, education, and advocacy to deportees from the United States, migrants who have crossed the border without authorization, and Central American asylum-seekers. She recounts the impact of various changes by the Trump administration on KBI’s work and migrant communities, including the elimination of prosecutorial discretion and the implementation of policies (such as the Migrant Protection Protocols/Remain in Mexico policy) that force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico. Williams also discusses the recent report, “Communities in Crisis: Interior Removals and Their Human Consequences,” co-authored with CMS and the Jesuit Conference’s Office of Justice and Ecology. The study examines the characteristics of deportees and the effects of deportation, and places the findings in a broader policy context.