The concept of “the border” is often thought of in regard to the southwestern United States’ southern border with Mexico. When people speak of “the border,” prominent news sources and politicians have made it quite easy to picture the Arizona desert, Rio Grande River, or La Bestia (“The Beast”) train traveling through Mexico with caravans of people. While these are all dangerous realities for people seeking entry into the United States, the border we often don’t think about is the ever-present border which pervades everyday lives even after crossing the physical border. The U.S.-Mexico border may be a significant Port of Entry for many migrants entering the United States, but “the border” often does not end there.

Marcelo Betti, attorney for Justice For Our Neighbors, will be the keynote speaker for the 14th annual Belko Peace Lecture on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. He will speak on “Immigration: How It Works, How It Doesn’t” at Trinity UCC Church, 103 N. Warren St. in Northport. The Donaji dancers, a Mexican dance group will perform cultural dances which depict their heritage at 6:15 p.m.

Attacks on immigration make headlines nationwide, but here in Leelanau County our farmers enjoy a healthy, symbiotic relationship with their migrant laborers—without whom the cherries would not be picked this summer.

These days, the leaders of the United States talk about building a wall to keep people out. Perhaps instead of a wall, we should construct a giant mirror this Fourth of July, and take a look at ourselves, who we are, what choices we’re making, and where we are headed as a nation, as a community.

The Leelanau School featured a special graduation speaker during its commencement ceremony on June 3. Alum Arya Khoshnegah, together with his sister Laila, left Iran as teenagers and enrolled at the private boarding school north of Glen Arbor, just before the 1979 revolution that changed the fortunes of their family and their country. Leelanau, which specializes in experiential learning and small class sizes in a beautiful setting, graduated 19 seniors who hail from 11 states. Distinguished alumni have included survivors of wars and natural disasters, children of statesmen and accomplished actors.

On Wednesday, April 5, at noon at the Leelanau County Government Center the Farm Labor Task Force of the League of Women Voters Leelanau County will highlight the impact current immigration policy has on area agricultural employers and their workforce. The forum is titled “Immigration Challenges in Leelanau: Who Will Harvest Our Produce?”

Michigan has one of the largest long-term foster care programs in the nation for immigrant and refugee children, said Susan Reed, supervising attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center. The Kalamazoo-based center and pro bono immigration law clinics at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School and Michigan State University work together with Bethany and Lutheran to represent undocumented immigrants.

A group recently formed in Leelanau County is speaking out for immigrant rights. With Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or I.C.E. crack-downs across Northern Michigan becoming more common, the group of concerned citizens says they want to stand up for the members of our community that don’t always have a chance to stand up for themselves.