Mexico

Mexico

Statement on the Shooting in El Paso
The violent attack yesterday in El Paso in which 22 people lost their lives and more than 24 others were injured evokes two starkly divergent views of El Paso, the first held by most of its residents and those who...

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Paradoxes of Protection: Compassionate Repression at the Mexico–Guatemala Border

This paper analyzes data from migrant shelters — including 16 qualitative interviews with migrants and shelter staff, and 118 complaints of abuse — in the Mexico-Guatemala border region. It documents and analyzes the nature, location, and perpetrators of these alleged abuses. It uses a framework of “compassionate repression” (Fassin 2012) to examine the obstacles that migrants encounter in denouncing abuses and seeking protection. It argues that while Mexican humanitarian visas can provide protection for abuses committed in Mexico, the visas are limited by their temporary nature, by being nested within a migration system that prioritizes removal, and by recognizing only crimes that occur in Mexico. It finds that the paradox between humanitarian concerns and repressive migration governance in a context of high impunity shapes institutional and practical obstacles to reporting crimes, receiving visas, and accessing justice. The paper recommends that the Mexican government address these problems through: 1) further funding for the special prosecutors’ offices that investigate crimes against migrants; 2) the creation of an independent agency that approves and issues humanitarian visas; 3) work permits for humanitarian visa recipients; and 4) allowing complaints to be filed for crimes committed in countries in transit to Mexico.

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Timothy Meagher of Catholic University of America reviews Land! Irish Pioneers in Mexican and Revolutionary Texas by Graham Davis.  Graham Davis tells an Irish-Texan story of the search for land by recounting the experiences of the original empresarios John McMullen,...

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Does the United States Need to Invest More in Border Enforcement?

Despite the largest immigration enforcement budget in US history, the Border Patrol is set to apprehend the highest number of border crossers in more than a decade. This essay argues that the administration’s enforcement-only approach cannot successfully address this humanitarian crisis, and does not deserve any additional funding. Instead, the administration should respond to the conditions driving Central American and Venezuelan asylum seekers, provide protection for those fleeing violence and other impossible conditions, and create a strong, well-resourced US asylum system.

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CMSOnAir | Joanna Williams on the Kino Border Initiative
This episode of CMSOnAir features an interview with Joanna Williams, director of education and advocacy for the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). KBI is a bi-national organization based in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico that works to “affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity.” In this episode, Williams details KBI’s efforts to provide humanitarian aid, education, and advocacy to deportees from the United States, migrants who have crossed the border without authorization, and Central American asylum-seekers. She recounts the impact of various changes by the Trump administration on KBI’s work and migrant communities, including the elimination of prosecutorial discretion and the implementation of policies (such as the Migrant Protection Protocols/Remain in Mexico policy) that force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico. Williams also discusses the recent report, “Communities in Crisis: Interior Removals and Their Human Consequences,” co-authored with CMS and the Jesuit Conference’s Office of Justice and Ecology. The study examines the characteristics of deportees and the effects of deportation, and places the findings in a broader policy context.

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2019 Fr. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration | Border Spirituality: ‘Tu eres mi otro yo’

Established in 2014, the Fr. Lydio F. Tomasi, C.S. Annual Lecture on International Migration addresses a migration-related topic of pressing concern to faith communities. Co-sponsored with the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, the 2019 Tomasi Lecture was delivered by Msgr. Arturo J. Bañuelas, S.T.D., Pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in El Paso, Texas at the fifth national gathering of the Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative in Santa Clara, California.

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Border Spirituality: ‘Tu eres mi otro yo’

The 2019 Father Lydio F. Tomasi, c.s. Annual Lecture on International Migration was delivered by Msgr. Arturo J. Bañuelas, Pastor of St. Mark’s Parish in El Paso, TX on March 12, 2019 at the sixth national gathering of the Catholic Immigrant Integration Initiative in Santa Clara, California.

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Bodily Inertia and the Weaponization of the Sonoran Desert in US Boundary Enforcement: A GIS Modeling of Migration Routes through Arizona’s Altar Valley

This paper explores the impact of the US Border Patrol’s strategy of “Prevention Through Deterrence” along unauthorized migration routes in the Sonoran Desert. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) modeling of the Sonoran Desert, Arizona, and an analysis of comprehensive activity logs of the use of clean drinking water along migration routes between 2012 to 2015, it finds that migration routes shifted to increasingly rugged and more dangerous terrain. Coupled with everyday interference with clean drinking water sites provided by humanitarian organizations, this deterrence policy maximizes the physiological harm experienced by unauthorized migrants. It also explains the persistence of mortality of unauthorized migrants, and the increase in the rate of mortality over time. The paper concludes with several policy recommendations for US Customs and Border Protection, including: 1) making interference by border officials and vandalism of humanitarian aid a fireable offense; 2) the formation of a border-wide agency tasked with search-and-rescue and emergency medical response; and 3) ending Prevention Through Deterrence as a nationwide strategy.

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US Undocumented Population Continued to Fall from 2016 to 2017 and Visa Overstays Significantly Exceeded Illegal Crossings for the Seventh Consecutive Year

This paper finds that the US undocumented population from Mexico declined by 1.3 million people from 2010 to 2017, including a decrease of 400,000 from 2016 to 2017. For the first time ever, Mexican nationals constitute less than half of the total US undocumented population. The paper also finds that visa overstays contributed significantly more to the population of newly undocumented residents than illegal border crossers from 2010 to 2017. It recommends that the administration and Congress work together to: 1) provide more resources to the US Department of State for their visa-issuance work and 2) pass legislation to legalize the DREAM-Act eligible population, long-term Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries, and “intending immigrants” with US citizen or lawful permanent resident family members. These findings reveal a disconnect between public discourse on the border wall and empirical data, and argue for more nuanced and evidence-based responses to undocumented migration.

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