Only Here Podcast: Border Church Helps Protect A Place Where People Separated By Immigration Status Can Meet
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Photo by Alan Lilienthal
The Border Church, or La Iglesia Fronteriza, is not a brick-and-mortar church. In fact, the only wall here at this weekly outdoor service is the one separating the United States and Mexico.
Church services are held every Sunday on both sides of the international border fence between San Diego and Tijuana. It is a religious celebration, but it also helps ensure that the U.S. Border Patrol will continue to allow people to use this place as a meeting point. Every Sunday Border Church founder John Fanestil said he asks the agent on duty to open the fence.
This spot, where the border wall runs into the Pacific Ocean, is where families whose immigration status doesn’t allow them to travel between the two countries can spend time with each other through the fence. It's the only place along the Southern California border where people can legally walk right up to the fence and touch people on the other side — just barely by poking their fingers through holes in a steel mesh barrier, but still, it’s a touch.
In a new episode of "Only Here," KPBS' podcast about life at the Western Hemisphere's busiest border crossing, a story about The Border Church and the people who power it.
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