2021 El Paso Border Tour

Hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies


Our next tour will begin in El Paso this coming September. During the week-long excursion, we will explore the border from Sunland Park, New Mexico eastward through downtown El Paso to the southern edge of town. We will visit with residents of the Chihuahuita neighborhood, which runs along the fence, and take a trip to the old brickyard, where the crowd-funded "We Build the Wall" program (whose leaders have since been accused of corruption) completed an impressive fortification up a steep hill that begins at the Rio Grande. We will receive a lecture from a retired Border Patrol official-turned-professor at the University of Texas at El Paso and a briefing at the National Border Patrol Museum. We will spend a day across the river in Juarez, visiting the U.S. consulate and a downtown Catholic ministry that works with asylum seekers. We will be guided through the industrial parks that house the maquiladoras that are the backbone of the local economy and will visit the dynamic tourist area near the beautiful Juarez Cathedral. We will drive to White Sands, New Mexico, through Las Cruces and Alamogordo, to visit the White Sands National Monument, where 275 square miles of glistening gypsum sand dunes are described as "one of the world’s great natural wonders". We will visit two local museums that chronicle the Pancho Villa raid and the retaliatory raid into Mexico by General John “Black Jack” Pershing. We will meet with a former Washington Post reporter and be given a tour of a local ranch in the New Mexico borderlands. Throughout the week, we will sample the local fare and absorb the region’s rich culture and history.

The tour will be led by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jerry Kammer, who recently authored the book "Losing Control: How a Left-Right Coalition Blocked Immigration Reform and Provoked the Backlash That Elected Trump". If you are interested in this invaluable look at the border, please contact John Wahala at [email protected]

Please note: given the ongoing recovery from the pandemic, the logistics of this tour will be more challenging than previous ones. We may have to forgo parts of the itinerary. For example, we may not be able to travel into Mexico. But we will replace any missed activities with meaningful and enriching alternatives.

Read Accounts and View Pictures of Past Tours


A Growing Border Crisis: A report from Arizona
Unrest in the Rio Grande Valley
Diligence on a Changing Canadian Border
Constant Activity on the California Border
Holding Steady in West Texas
A Washington Narrative Meets Reality
Sunshine, Saguaros, and Smugglers
Reflections from the Border


Testimonials from Past Guests


"All I can say is top notch, incredibly well-done. These tours are can't miss." - Jim 

"These tours are intense and joyous adventures packed with knowledge, uncommon scenery, and ebullient mealtimes. The work done in preparation is awe-making. The folks at CIS take care of every detail, enhancing the roster of learning and experiencing with piquant extras. I, inveterate traveler, feel safe, confident, and dazzled from start to finish." -- Marion 

“The trip was amazingly well managed. Those planning it arranged for us to see the border from so many different points of view -- U.S. side and Mexican side, urban and open country, two very different legal crossing points, the variety of ways the border can be breached, the nature of the two sides of the border in many different types of locales. We met with many interesting people working on both border and immigration issues. Excellent speakers gave us background history and current issues and problems. Intimate discussions with articulate Border Control Patrol agents and some of the people they interact with from other agencies.”  -- Norman

"You promised we would not get the usual Border Patrol spin job or fed the Janet Napolitano line about how border security has improved, and you were right. We heard and saw at many dangerous border sites from local ranchers, a veteran customs agent, border residents and brave journalists who really knew their stuff, the dismal truth about how our federal government has failed to protect American citizens." -- Don 

"We thought the arrangements to meet these extraordinary people were superb, as was the guidance and logistics on the entire trip. Thanks for all you did to make our visits such memorable experiences." -- Don 

"It was an outstanding trip. So much experience and information packed into just a few days. Thanks for the excellent arrangements!" -- Sarah 

"The various people we met brought into stark relief the magnitude of the problems the nation faces arising from illegal immigration." -- Allan 

"Every American should come see the state of the southwest border." -- Linda