One of the highlights of St. Augustine High School's Senior "Social Issues" class is the "Border Day" trip, in which students studying issues surrounding immigration are able to see first hand how the issues play out in the real world. In their latest Border Day, a group from our sister school of Our Lady of Peace, home of the Pilots, joined in. One of the friars of the St. Augustine Monastery community, Br. Robert Baiocco, OSA, also served as a chaperone on the trip.
The day began in the library of St. Augustine High School, with Saints alum Enrique Morenes giving a lecture on the work of his group Border Angels. Border Angels are a migrant advocacy group and are known for organizing water drops in the desert to prevent any people crossing the border from dying of thirst in the extreme heat.
The group then drove to a local Home Depot to speak with day laborers, who are often undocumented. The group was able to hear the stories of the men who were waiting to be picked up for work, and some of the difficulties and challenges in their lives.
Lastly, the group traveled down to the San Diego Sector headquarters of the US Border Patrol. Here, officers presented to the students on their work in protecting the nation from the threats posed by drugs and criminal activity. After a time of Q and A, the students were put into special border patrol vehicles and driven between the primary and secondary fence of the US-Mexico border. The tour concluded with a stop at Friendship Park, the final section of the fencing before the the Pacific Ocean.
The day was a full experience and allowed the students to see the difficulties and nuances of the complicated issues surrounding the topic of immigration.