Cuba detente creates migrant crisis in Mexico

11/9/2015 The Financial Times

“They have to move faster, there are a lot of people waiting here without adequate living conditions,” said Lionel Hernández, 28, huddling with other Cuban migrants in the doorway of the Tapachula migration office in southern Mexico to escape the pounding rain.

A young woman from Havana looked in dismay at a soggy stack of papers. She had scrawled down the names of hundreds of fellow Cubans gathered outside the Tapachula facility to help Mexican migration authorities process their requests for transit visas. “There are more than 170 Cubans here now, but more keep arriving,” she said, sighing. “It is impossible to count them all.”

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Increased Enforcement at Mexico’s Southern Border

wolaAn Update on Security, Migration, and U.S. Assistance

New Report by the Washington Office on Latin America

In a report released today, the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) reveals that, far from deterring migrants from making the journey north, the most notable effects of Mexico’s Southern Border Program have been a significant uptick in apprehensions and changes in where and how migrants are traveling. These changes expose migrants to new vulnerabilities, while isolating them from the network of shelters established along traditional routes.

From when it was announced in July 2014 to June 2015, Mexico’s stepped-up migration enforcement resulted in a 71 percent increase in apprehensions of Central American migrants and potential refugees, compared to the same period one year earlier. Based on research and visits during the last two years to Mexico’s southern border zone, WOLA researchers found that Mexico’s increased apprehension and rapid deportation of migrants has not been paired with a greater capacity to screen them for protection concerns, leading many to be deported back to dangerous situations in their home countries.

Read the report…

Perilous Crossing in Arizona

10/27/2015 Los Angeles Times 

Border - Mexico

With a significant slowdown in the surge of migrants streaming across the Southwest border, it stands to reason that the number of deaths among those braving the crippling heat of Arizona’s desert frontier with Mexico would also decline. But it didn’t.

In fact, even more people died attempting the perilous crossing: 117 bodies have been recovered along migration routes in southern Arizona since Jan. 1, compared with 108 bodies during the same period last year.

What happened?

The answer lies in the nationality of the person generally found dead on the U.S.-Mexican border: In 85% of cases, they are Mexican, according to Pima County Medical Examiner Greg Hess. Most of the migrants who crossed the U.S. border last year were from violence-ridden countries in Central America who often turned themselves in to U.S. border agents and filed asylum petitions that allow them to remain in the U.S. until their cases are adjudicated.

But Mexican migrants tend to have different circumstances. Most who cross the border illegally face immediate arrest and deportation — and as a result, they often choose to evade detection by making their way up the deadly hot byways of the Arizona desert.

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UPCOMING EVENT | Central America – North America Migration Dialogue: Policy Brief Series

children-northern-mexico-credit-kelly-donlan2_0WHEN: Tuesday, October 20, 9:00am-11:00am

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and Latin American Program, CIESAS, and Georgetown University are pleased to invite you to the Central America – North America Migration Dialogue Policy Brief Series. The goal of the Central America – North America Dialogue (CANAMID) is to gather and disseminate rigorous analyses on Central American and Mexican migration at its points of departure, transit and settlement communities in Mexico and the United States. Please join us for the launch of the first set of eight CANAMID policy briefs.

Opening Remarks & Introduction to the CANAMID Project and Policy Briefs Series

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Susan Martin
Georgetown University

Pablo Mateos
CIESAS Research Center, Mexico

Panel: Central America – North America Migration

Moderated by:
Cynthia Arnson
Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center

Carla Pederzini, Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City
A Historic and Demographic Outlook of Migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle

Pia Orrenius, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
Central Americans in the U.S. Labor Market: Recent Trends and Policy Impacts

Bryant Jensen, Brigham Young University, & James Bachmeier, Temple University
Central American Children in the U.S. & Education

Pablo Mateos, CIESAS Research Center, Mexico
Highlights from Remaining Research


Lindsay Lowell
Georgetown University

Phil Martin
UC Davis

Click here to RSVP. 

Immigration Reform 2015: Path To Citizenship Favored By 65 Percent Of Americans

8/13/15 International Business Times

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants participate in march for Immigrants and Mexicans protesting against Illegal Immigration reform by U.S. Congress, Los Angeles, CA, May 1, 200An overwhelming majority of Americans favor a plan that would allow undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States and ultimately become citizens, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday. The poll comes out as national debate swirls around the more than 10 million immigrants estimated to be living in the United States illegally.

According to the poll, 65 percent of American adults favor allowing undocumented immigrants to stay and become citizens if they meet certain requirements over time; 19 percent would favor a plan that allows them to stay in the country temporarily, and 14 percent would like to see them all deported to their home countries. Of the groups identified in the poll, Hispanic Americans are the most likely to support pathways to citizenship (77 percent), followed by black Americans (70 percent) and then white Americans (62 percent).

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Immigration Reform 2015: Illegal Mexican Border Crossings Down Nationwide, Study Finds

7/22/15 International Business Times

Migrant farmworkersAs election season ramps up with immigration reform a hot topic, recent data from the Pew Research Center showed that the number of people from Mexico caught attempting to cross the border illegally to the United States was dropping nationwide. The number of apprehensions was typically a good barometer of the total number of people coming to the U.S.

Last year was the first on record in which there were more non-Mexicans apprehended at the border than Mexicans. In the fiscal year 2014, Pew reported that 229,178 Mexicans were arrested at the border, down from a peak of about 1.6 million in 2000. “The decline in apprehensions reflects the decrease in number of unauthorized Mexican immigrants coming to the U.S.,” the report stated.

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Mexico gets billions more dollars from migrants than from oil exports

7/7/15 Global Post

120px-20_Dollars_art3While Donald Trump caused an uproar by calling Mexican migrants criminals and even “rapists,” many here see them as heroes.

Mexicans working in the United States these days are sending lots of money back to Mexico. The dollars provide a lifeline for millions of poor families, often enabling them to buy basic food, medicine or school books.

Just in May, Mexican migrants abroad sent home almost $2.2 billion, a 2.4 percent rise over the same month last year.

Read more…