Migration—People & Policy on the U.S. – Mexico Border (Online | USA)

Examine the complex realities and human impacts of migration to the United States, from factors driving migration to militarization strategies used at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

At a Glance





Courses taught in



Jul 20 ‎– Aug 14

Online Component

Jul 20 ‎– Jul 31

On Site Component

Aug 1 ‎– Aug 14

Program Base

Hybrid: Online & Tucson, Arizona

Critical Global Issue of Study

Identity & Human Resilience

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Development & Inequality

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Tensions related to migration through or from Mexico are high and policies change frequently. In this summer course based in Tucson, Arizona, students will be introduced to U.S. immigration policy and exposed to the issues and challenges faced by migrants. See grassroots responses on the U.S.-Mexico border and consider policy changes that address the issues of undocumented migration. This program will provide students with a deeper understanding of the structural causes of inequality and migration, as well as the impacts of changes in the global economy and high levels of international undocumented migration on individuals and communities.

You will consider state efforts to restrict human mobility across international boundaries, while learning how these practices violate fundamental human rights. You´ll learn what undocumented migrants face once on U.S. soil and how international economics, labor shortages, war, and immigration policy affect migration patterns. You’ll also meet community organizers, activists, attorneys, and professors directly involved in finding ways to combat structural oppression against migrants.


  • Understand the factors that lead to undocumented migration.
  • Learn what migrants face once on U.S. soil.
  • Consider the complex realities of migration policy in practice. 
  • Visit borderland communities and learn about grassroots efforts.



Course Sites

Online Term Details

The first two weeks of online instruction will provide a program orientation, including introductory activities to get to know one another and the program team. The online term will feature five to six faculty-led sessions and guest lectures to provide the course’s theoretical frameworks and historical background on the sites and partner organizations you will visit, readings and preliminary assignments, and two to three online discussions to debrief sessions and prepare students to join the faculty in Tucson, Arizona.

Domestic Site Details

While in Tucson, Arizona, for two weeks, you’ll visit organizations and government institutions involved in border and immigration issues. You’ll learn about legal proceedings migrants and asylum seekers face, as well as the extra challenges minors, families and LGBTQI+ populations encounter. The course will address how greater enforcement has altered border crossings, as well as issues related to cyclical labor and transnational lives. You will be assigned readings and assignments and participate in lectures and reflection sessions and discussions.

Please note that SIT will make every effort to maintain its programs as described. To respond to emergent situations, however, SIT may have to change or cancel programs.



The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term.

Please expand the sections below to see detailed course information, including course codes, credits, overviews, and syllabi.

Program Components

  • 20 hours of online sessions
  • 40 hours in person
  • 75–80 hours of readings and assignments (pre-departure and while in session)
  • 35 hours of research (small group research project and presentation)

Migration: People and Policy on the U.S. – Mexico Border



Students will be housed in a hotel or hostel with shared rooms during the field-based portion of the program.

Career Paths

  • Immigration law

  • Social work with migrants and migrant communities

  • Education and Social Justice

  • Policy advocacy

Faculty & Staff

USA: Migration—People & Policy on the U.S. – Mexico Border (Online | USA)

Omar Núñez Méndez, PhD Candidate
Florence Weinberg, JD

Discover the Possibilities


    The total cost for this program is $3, 906, including tuition, room & board. Program cost does not include travel or health insurance. Contact your study abroad office or SIT Admissions for more information.