Kate Swanson, originally from Canada, is a professor of human geography at San Diego State University. Her work specifically focuses on youth migration in Latin American and at the U.S.-Mexico Border. As a member of Detainee Allies, Kate works firsthand with letters the group receives from detained refugees from the Otay Mesa detention center and Etowah County Jail. In this interview, Kate talks about the work Detainee Allies does, the conditions refugees face in detention centers, and the importance of community organizing.

I am currently a second year undergraduate at  the University of California, San Diego, majoring in Ethnic Studies and History. This interview has allowed me to grasp the importance and impact of grassroot organizing during political crises. I met Kate while volunteering at one of Detainee Allies’ Monday night organizing meetings. This interview was conducted at Kate’s office at San Diego State University.