The 2023 Southwest Border Tour

Hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies


The Center’s tenth annual border tour is scheduled for late March, beginning and ending in San Diego. During the week-long excursion we will explore the rugged borderlands from the Pacific to Yuma, Ariz., winding our way from the ocean to the lush farmland where the Colorado and Gila rivers converge. Along the way we will walk the glittering Algodones sand dunes, cross the border into Mexicali, and visit the Cocopah Indian reservation.

We will travel through areas that are experiencing unprecedented levels of illegal traffic and talk with local officials and residents who are attempting to manage the influx. We will discuss the situation with the staff of a local congressman, the mayor of Yuma, and law enforcement. We will take a nighttime tour of an area where hundreds of illegal aliens cross. We will see the local lettuce fields and packing houses. And we will visit a migrant shelter in Mexico.

Participants will also learn about the history and culture of the region. This includes a visit to Mexicali’s Chinatown, called “La Chinesca,” where the local customs and cuisine are heavily influenced by the Chinese migrants who came in the early 1900s to work in the United States but ended up settling south of the border. We will visit a date farm and the Jacumba Hot Springs, where pools of steaming mineral water bubble up from the California desert. And the group will cross into Tijuana through the San Ysidro port of entry, the busiest land border crossing in the world.

Led by Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director, this tour will provide an invaluable look at the chaotic situation unfolding on the border, the enforcement and processing efforts currently underway, and the immigration issue in a broader context. If you are interested in joining us on the tour, please contact John Wahala at [email protected].

Read Accounts and View Pictures of Past Tours

Report from the Rio Grande Valley

Dysfunction on the Border: Report from West Texas and New Mexico

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

Border Tour Videos

2022 Border Tour Videos

2021 Border Tour Videos

2019 Border Tour Videos

2018 Border Tour Videos

Testimonials from Past Guests

"The trip is like doing a Rhodes Scholarship on steroids." -- Loras

"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