Border & Immigration

Current Projects 

Women in Immigration Detention Facilities
Contacts: Nina Rabin, JD, Director of Border Research ( & Patricia Manning MS, Social Services Coordinator and Advocate (

SIROW in collaboration with the James E. Rogers College of Law., Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, the ACLU of Arizona, the Women’s Refugee Commission, and Human Rights Watch. this project provides social support and services to individual detainees. In partnership with the Immigration Law Clinic, we also provide legal services to a select number of detainees each semester. We have formed strong partnerships with nonprofits including the SIROW works jointly with these organizations to improve policies on both the local and national levels that are responsive to the needs of women detainees.    


Protecting Women's Rights at the Border
Contact: Nina Rabin, JD, (

Protecting Women's Rights at the Border is a multi-faceted research, education, and advocacy project that aims to protect women's rights in the U.S./Mexico border region. It is a collaborative project of SIROW and the James E. Rogers College of Law. Through its two major initiatives, the Tucson Immigrant Workers’ Project [link] and the Campaign for Women in Immigration Detention Facilities [link], the project focuses on two particularly vulnerable sub-populations of women immigrants: low-wage women workers and women immigrant detainees. Drawing on the synergy of students, researchers, community partners, and the women immigrants themselves, the project aims to address the violations of women’s civil and human rights that occur with increasing frequency in the U.S./Mexico border region. 


Tucson Women Workers' Project
Contact: Nina Rabin, JD (

The Tucson Immigrant Workers’ Project provides low-wage immigrant workers, and women workers in particular, with knowledge about their legal rights in the workplace and give them the tools to protect themselves from abuse and exploitation at work.  In partnership with the Immigration Law Clinic at the James E. Rogers College of Law, the Project offers free and confidential legal advice and counseling on workplace rights to low-wage immigrant workers.  


Immigrant Mothers with Citizen Children: Rethinking Family Welfare Policies in a Transnational Era
Contact: Sally Stevens ( or Rosi Andrade (

Research on current welfare laws and policies in a cultural context.



Reports and Articles

The Southwest Institute for Research On Women's (SIROW) Nina Rabin, JD has recently released a report titled"Out of the Shaddows: Shedding Light on the Working Conditions of Immigrant Women in Tucson". The report looks into one year of field research between April 2012 and March 2013.  Para español, clic aquí.

Left Back: The Impact of SB 1070 on Arizona’s Youth

Disappearing Parents: A Report on Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System, May 5, 2011

Unseen Prisoners: A Report on Women in Immigration Detention Facilities, January 2009

Report Faults Treatment of Women Held at Immmigration Center: New York Times, January 21, 2009



Completed Projects


Transborder Consortium Health Project

Contact: Sally Stevens (

The Transborder Consortium conducted an analysis of in-depth interviews with health experts from both sides of the Mexico-US border.  The analysis was centered on community health needs, challenges, and viable policy recommendations for gender-informed, regionally-appropriate policy recommendations regarding women’s health in the transborder region, revolving particularly around Arizona, U.S. and Sonora, Mexico.  Recommendations were shared in diverse ways with various audiences concerned with gender and health policy-- from academic researchers to health practitioners to policy makers at local, regional and national levels.  Preliminary findings around varying perceptions about the border region, and the ways those perceptions impact upon assessing needs and proposing changes in health policy, were presented to the Annual Information For Action Border Health Conference held in Tucson, October 27-28, 2005.  Later work further analyzed the interviews and laid the groundwork for a critical deconstruction of ideologies and their impacts on health and health care systems.  The Transborder Consortium presented a human rights framework as the best way to facilitate women’s health and reduce the inefficiencies of negotiating disparate systems and cross-cutting jurisdictions.  The Transborder Consortium was funded by the Ford Foundation.



Transborder Health Consortium: “Women’s Health on the Border” Website

Contact: Sally Stevens (

The Transborder Health Consortium has continued to maintain and add content and resources to its website, “Women’s Health on the Border”.  Through ongoing SIROW support, this bilingual website contains information on women’s health issues specific to women in the border region as well as links to local and regional health providers and informational health resources.  Specific health issues identified by health care workers in the region have been highlighted in a section of periodic issues entitled “¿Qué Me Cuentas. . . ? (What Can You Tell Me About. . . . . ?)”.  Two issues have been developed with a focus on cancer prevention and menopause, and environmental health for women.  The research on these issues was conducted with focus groups of older women in Arizona and Sonora, extensive literature reviews and consultation with medical and lay professionals and residents of the border region.  The information on the website relates to the direct experiences, cultural beliefs and practices, and health care access of women living in the border region.  The information on the website is easily printable for dissemination by health providers and outreach workers.


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