Panel Discussion: 'Sanctuary: Who Belongs Here?'


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The concept of "sanctuary" has a special meaning on the U.S.-Mexico border. In addition to being a place of great biodiversity, the region has been home to Indigenous peoples since before the border existed. More recently, settlers, migrants and refugees have come here from all over the world in search of a better life. 

Border people are known for creating a unique, multicultural community that has historically been welcoming to outsiders. During the 1980s, people in Tucson founded the Sanctuary Movement to aid refugees fleeing political violence in Central America. Some of these sanctuary workers received criminal convictions for their efforts. Today, as record numbers of migrants and refugees continue to arrive, the practice of sanctuary is facing unprecedented challenges.

To celebrate the opening of the University Libraries Special Collections exhibit "Sanctuary: Who Belongs Here? The Search for Homeland on the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1848 to Today," activists from the 1980s movement will join scholars studying and participating in today's refugee aid efforts to address the past, present and future of sanctuary on the border.

Sanctuary Panel Event promo image/decorative

Contact Info & Links

Maggie Dwenger


Audience size
Large (101-500)


Manuel Pacheco Integrated Learning Center,
1500 E. University Blvd.