**Delegates’ reflections from the Journey of an Immigrant Delegation (May 16-18, 2014)


Delegates’ Reflections, past border delegations into Mexico.

admin-ajaxA trip to the border to hear the voices of maquiladora workers can be a life-transforming event.  A reflection is simply “a thought, idea, or opinion formed or a remark made as a result of meditation.” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Pamela Brouker’s Reflection following a delegation to Reynosa, Tamaulipas, March 12-14, 2010 across from McAllen, Texas.  “My name is Pamela Marie Brouker.  I enjoy poetry, nature, art, film and travel.  Journaling, writing, drawing and taking pictures are personal life giving activities.  Massachusetts is my home state, however, I find joy in all parts of the world.  Perhaps because my ancestors traveled.  I have visited, Greece, France, Italy, Palestine/Israel, Guatemala, the borders of Mexico and Canada, the states of CA, Hawaii, New York, Illinois, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Colorado, Texas, Florida and states, in between,  getting there.  Travel is a human occupation and I’m glad to say everyone needs to engage in this line of work.  I hope to be finished with my first film, “Mourning of the Eye” by September, 2010.  It’s about life, after Ike.  I am an ordained Lutheran minister and certified special education teacher.  I was in Mexico, Reynosa, when the time changed. . . Read more.

Elvia Rosales Arriola and Kate Horonzy (NIU J.D. 2007) visit a workers' colonia in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, October 2005

Elvia Rosales Arriola and Kate Horonzy (NIU J.D. 2007) visit a workers’ colonia in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, October 2005


Cynthia N. Edwards (J.D. NIU 2009) Reflection “Life at the Border” from the October 13-15, 2006 delegation to Reynosa, Tamaulipas.  “In October 2006, I participated in a delegation to the U.S.-Mexico border.  As part of the 12 person delegation, which was partly organized by a professor at Northern Illinois University’s College of Law I traveled to Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, a town on the U.S.-Mexico border that is next to McAllen, Texas.   The group was comprised of the professor, three other students at my law school, and National Lawyers’ Guild lawyers and staff…”  Read more.



Yvonne Lapp Cryns; Reflection Delegation to Piedras Negras in 2005  “Have you ever given any thought to who sews the pants and shirts you wear? Who makes your Nike shoes? Who put the electrical system together for your car?  Five NIU College of Law students had the opportunity to travel to Mexico and meet some of the people who work in factories that make those consumer goods and learn about the effects of globalization on these people who live so close to our U.S. border…”  Read more.


Big Delegation Group with friendsJudith “Hoodeet” Rosenberg’s Reflection following the delegation to Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Oct. 12-14, 2001. “Dear All,  This is a personal report of the recent delegation to the border, which in many ways was a satisfying and successful trip because of the strength of the Austin delegates and because the CFO managed their part pretty much without Julia’s participation. Not that it isn’t always great to see Julia Quiñones, their coordinator, but they are acting on the principle of developing broad leadership and so for the first time Margarita Ramirez was our main host, in Piedras Negras and Acuña. In the latter city we saw quite a bit of Juan Tovar and met new people. It’s exciting to see the CFO act on their principles – they generally do – even it means encountering growing pains. One thing that motivates me to write now, however, is that this trip was depressing for me…”  Read more.




Reynosa delegation with NIU law students Fall 2006 Photo courtesy of Christina Murray

Reynosa delegation with NIU law students Fall 2006 Photo courtesy of Christina Murray

Christina Murray’s Reflection  Photographer & Delegation Leader, Fall 2006

“Dear friends and family, So I have been wanting to write for days now, but there is never enough time. As many of you know, but not all, I’m here on the Mexican side of the Texas/ Mexico border, in Piedras Negras, sister city to Eagle Pass. I’m here for just a month, not very long really, and already two weeks have passed. But the two weeks have been filled with so many new experiences, faces and stories, that if you saw me now, I’d be in a hand stand position, the blood rushing to my face, trying to sort out the curiosities, peculiarities and small wonders of this place while turned upside down, inside out. I sleep in a maquiladora, which, by definition, is a processing plant…” Read more.