The Border Network for Human Rights: From Community Organizing to Public Policy Action

Publication Date


Document Type



HEYMAN, J. (2014), The Border Network for Human Rights. City and Society, 26: 73-95. doi:10.1111/ciso.12035


The Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) is a community‐based organization in the United States‐Mexico borderlands, focused on human rights in the domain of immigration law enforcement and comprehensive immigration reform. BNHR has three important features. First, it focuses on the U.S.‐Mexico border region, the region of most intensive U.S. immigration enforcement. Second, the BNHR uses a base community organizing strategy, as opposed to external activist or service provider strategies. Third, the BNHR has brought the voices and perspectives of border and immigrant community members to the public policy process. In these ways, the BNHR is reformulating political agency in the borderlands and the U.S.