An innovative course at BCSSW is addressing the challenges of migration at the U.S./ Mexico border head-on, by offering field-based experience for a next generation of social workers devoted to shaping immigration policy. Services to Migrants: A Border Perspective is co-taught by BCSSW Associate Professor of Macro Practice Westy Egmont, director of the BC Immigrant Integration Lab, and Visiting Research Professor Maryanne Loughry, RSM, who is an advisor to the Australian government on migration and refugee matters.
During two weeks of intensive on-the-ground inquiry along the Arizona/Nogales border, students:
- Walked the desert where hundreds of thousands of immigrants have crossed into the United States, and where many others have died.
- Visited detention centers where undocumented men, women and children are locked up between countries.
- Met face to face with migrants who described their experiences in search of a better life.
In this short video with photos from this year’s cohort, Egmont outlines some of the challenges facing social workers at the point of entry of Nogales, and he explains how BCSSW’s border course helps to train MSW candidates to better understand these challenges, and begin to build solutions.