McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Human rights advocates from across the country are highlighting what they call injustices along the Southwest border and will caravan along its entire 2,000-mile length beginning this week in the South Texas border city of Brownsville.

The “Journey for Justice” border tour starts Friday night with a light show at Xeriscape Park, across from the Gateway International Bridge, which connects Brownsville to Matamoros, Mexico. The caravan is scheduled to depart Saturday at sunrise from Boca Chica Beach, where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf Coast, and make stops in several border towns during the 16-day journey.

The Journey for Justice caravan begins at Boca Chica Beach on the Gulf Coast of South Texas. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report File Photo)

The driving caravan is scheduled to end in San Diego on Dec. 18, which is International Migrants Day, organizer Joshua Rubin told Border Report.

“We’re going to drive the full 2,200 miles of the southern border of the United States. There are people from all over the country who are coming, who have been waiting for a chance after this pandemic to do something to continue the struggle to foster justice at the border,” Rubin said Monday from his hometown of New York City. “We’ve been drawn, a lot of us, to the injustices that we’ve seen at the border, and we want to expand our vision of it. We want to start at one end of it and go to the other so that it’s all kind of inside of us. So we understand it.”

Joshua Rubin pickets the Gateway International Bridge on Nov. 7, 2020, demanding more rights for asylum seekers to cross the border. (Sandra Sanchez/Border Report File Photo)

Rubin founded the grassroots organization Witness at the Border, and he and participants spent several months camped at Xeriscape Park in Brownsville in 2019, prior to the pandemic, protesting the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, or “Remain in Mexico” program. The policy forced asylum-seekers to wait in dangerous Mexican border cities while their immigration cases were being processed through the court system.

Over 60,000 asylum seekers were put into the program.

“We have a lot to learn from the people who struggle along the border to help people and we need to know more about the people that we’re trying to help. Justice is what we’re asking for. And it seems to us injustice for people to be deprived of a chance of life just because of where they haven’t been born,” Rubin said.

They plan to stop in several border towns along the way including:

  • Laredo, Texas – Dec. 3
  • Uvalde, Texas – Dec. 4
  • Eagle Pass, Texas – Dec. 5
  • Marathon, Texas – Dec. 6
  • Big Bend National Park, Texas – Dec. 7
  • Tornillo, Texas – Dec. 8
  • El Paso, Texas – Dec. 9-10
  • Columbus, N.M. – Dec. 11
  • Douglas, Arizona – Dec. 12
  • Nogales, Arizona – Dec. 13
  • Sasabe, Arizona – Dec. 14
  • Yuma, Arizona – Dec. 15
  • Calexico, Calif. – Dec. 16
  • San Ysidro, Calif. – Dec. 16-17
  • San Diego – Dec. 18

Some participants are being hosted for free lodging along the way by border families.

Participants can join at any time and don’t have to travel the full distance, Rubin says.

“Border communities are exceptionally good at welcoming people fleeing for their lives from danger. We want to highlight the great work of our border partners, who serve as models to welcoming groups in D.C., New York and elsewhere,” said Karla Barber, a member of Witness at the Border’s leadership team.

Over 40 groups are partnering on the journey, including Al Otro Lado, Haitian Bridge Alliance, Kino Border Initiative and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center.

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