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Panel discusses migrant experience across the U.S.-Mexico border

%28from+left+to+right%29+Rubio+Goldsmith%2C+Tiera+Rainey%2C+Isabel+Garcia%2C+and+Hannah+Throssell+speak+to+students+about+immigration+on+Mar.+27+at+the+University+of+Arizona.+The+panel+was+brought+together+for+the+Immigrant+Student+Resource+centers+Forgotten+in+the+Desert+event.
Griffin Riley
(from left to right) Rubio Goldsmith, Tiera Rainey, Isabel Garcia, and Hannah Throssell speak to students about immigration on Mar. 27 at the University of Arizona. The panel was brought together for the Immigrant Student Resource center’s “Forgotten in the Desert” event.

The University of Arizona Immigrant Student Resource Center held a panel discussion, titled “Forgotten in the Desert,” on Wednesday, March 27, in the Manuel Pacheco Integrated Learning Center, Room 130.

The event focused on issues involving immigrants and ethnic minority communities in Arizona and was co-sponsored by the Binational Migration Institute. It was the third event of the ISRC’s Empowerment Series.

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The opening speaker was Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, co-director of the Binational Migration Institute and a lecturer in the UA Department of Mexican American Studies.

Rubio-Goldsmith shared her knowledge of issues with the border and in communities of color. She spoke about the history of immigration from Mexico, including migrant deaths caused by Border Patrol officers. After her talk, three more panelists joined her to answer questions prepared by ISRC members: Hannah Throssell, Tiera Rainey and Isabel Garcia.

(from left to right) Rubio Goldsmith, Tiera Rainey, Isabel Garcia, and Hannah Throssell speak to students about immigration on Mar. 27 at the University of Arizona. The panel was brought together for the Immigrant Student Resource center's "Forgotten in the Desert" event.
(from left to right) Rubio Goldsmith, Tiera Rainey, Isabel Garcia, and Hannah Throssell speak to students about immigration on Mar. 27 at the University of Arizona. The panel was brought together for the Immigrant Student Resource center’s “Forgotten in the Desert” event.

Throssell is a UA senior and member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Rainey is a Black Lives Matter activist in Tucson and the program coordinator at the American Friends Service Committee. Garcia is the co-chair of the Coalición de Derechos Humanos, a Tucson-based organization that works against the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The panelists shared their experience and perspective with the audience. Rainey addressed the criminalization of the black and immigrant communities.

Rubio-Goldsmith was impressed more than half of the audience was female, comparing to her experience in high school in the 1950s. 

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Throssel was also impressed by the diversity of the panelists and audience.

“I’ve never been to a panel that included this variety of people,” Throssell said. “Typically, indigenous people are out of this conversation, so I think it’s definitely a first step.” 

The fourth and final lecture in the Empowerment Series, “Where we go from here,” will be April 8 from 3-5:30 p.m. in the Kiva Room in the Student Union Memorial Center. It will be a collaboration with LGBTQ Affairs


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