Impact of Globalization on the U.S.-Mexico Border: Case of Grassroots Activism for the Migrant and Refugee Community

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This qualitative case study examines the impact of globalization on the U.S.-Mexico border as it affects transnational migration and individuals who assist the poor in migration. This study begins by discussing the social, political, and economic context of the region and examines the global conditions that have led to a massive movement of people along the border. The grassroots, NGO community has been actively engaged in the issue of cross-border migration although there have been few studies examining their work. This study attempts to look at how grassroots communities have responded to the global migratory flows as they situate themselves within globalization and the U.S.-Mexico border.

This study specifically focuses on Annunciation House, a nongovernmental organization that assists migrants in the sister border cities of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua and investigates how this organization and its networks have combined social services and activism with education in their advocacy work. The findings discuss the nature of the work and operation of Annunciation House; how the organization facilitates personal and political transformation of its humanitarian workers; how short-term and long-term staff members differ in their approaches to work; and how Annunciation House compares and relates to other NGOs in the region.