The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.

The Texas-Mexico Border Wall

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Students of the UT-Brownsville campus constructed this mural wall in response to plans for the construction of the Texas/Mexico border wall. Part of the mural reads, "Build Homes Not Walls."


During a May 2008 trip to Brownsville, Texas and nearby border areas, Zachary Horowitz, MA student in Geography, and community member Eloisa Tamez discuss the pending seizure of her 3-acre property, which is a remnant of a 12,000-acre grant from Spain to her family in 1767.

The Rapoport Center sponsors the Border Wall Working Group and supports the Texas/Mexico Border Wall Project. The project investigates the human rights impact of the proposed U.S.-Mexico Border Wall.

In response to the lively debate around the construction of the wall and seeing a need for more in-depth investigation and analysis, a multi-disciplinary collective of faculty and students at the University of Texas at Austin formed to analyze the human rights impact of the construction of a border wall on the Texas/Mexico border. This project has been facilitated through the Rapoport Center and has been supported by the University of Texas Office of Thematic Initiatives and Community Engagement. The Working Group includes faculty and students from the Geography Department, the Anthropology Department, the LBJ School of Public Affairs, the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and the Immigration Clinic, Environmental Clinic and Rapoport Center at the Law School. The Working Group is collaborating with affected individual property owners, indigenous communities, environmental groups, Environmental Sciences faculty at the University of Texas at Brownsville and other academics and advocates on this project.

In 2008, a working group delegation traveled to affected border areas on an information-gathering trip and compiled its conclusions in a series of briefing papers submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Please visit the Texas/Mexico Border Wall Website to learn more.

If you are interested in joining this working group, please email Clinical Professor Denise Gilman.

Recent News

Students and faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, through interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts by the Rapoport Center and the Immigration Clinic at the School of Law, were granted four public hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C., during October 2008. The international body’s decision to grant four of its limited number of hearings to UT students and faculty demonstrates the university community's increased involvement with important human rights issues developing in the United States and Latin America. Learn more.

Related Documents

Working Group Briefing Papers on Human Rights Impact

Working Group Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Working Group Freedom of Information Act Requests and Responses


Video: Working Group Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Press Release: University of Texas Working Group to Testify on Human Rights Impacts of the Texas/Mexico Border Wall (October 17, 2008)

Media Advisory: Hearings at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (October 14, 2008)