Mexico Institute Senior Advisor and Wilson Center Executive Vice President, Andrew Selee is the guest for part four of the series, “Charting a New Course.” In this episode we focus on the migration agenda and related issues and policies between the U.S. and Mexico. Immigration issues have loomed large in U.S. politics for some time now, but how much is really understood about migration patterns between the North American neighbors? Selee sheds much needed light on an issue too often the subject of heat in this edition of Wilson Center NOW.
In the small southern market town of Molcaxac, 650 miles (1050 km) from the U.S. border, Alicia Villa is praying to God that Republican candidate Donald Trump does not become the next president of the United States.
Over the past two decades, as Mexico’s rural economy stalled, Molcaxac and hundreds of towns like it became dependent on dollars sent by relatives who made the perilous journey north, a lifeline she fears will be cut by a Trump White House
11/5/16 The New York Times
MEXICO CITY — The young Mexican couple packed their possessions in boxes and garbage bags 20 years ago, locked them in a room of their half-built house in Mexico City and then migrated illegally to the United States with their 3-year-old daughter in search of work, taking only what they could carry.
The plan was to return a couple of years later, but instead they remained, undocumented, in New York City. The boxes and bags stayed where they had left them, their contents mostly forgotten: a family’s beacon of hope.
An entire generation of children, adolescents and young adults has been caught in the crucible of increasing criminalization of immigrants coupled with neoliberal globalization policies in Mexico and the United States. These are first- and second-generation immigrant youth who are bicultural, often bilingual, but rarely recognized as binational citizens in either of their countries. Since 2005, an estimated two million Mexicans have returned to Mexico after having lived in the United States, including over 500,000 U.S.-born children. As of 2005, the population of Mexican-origin immigrant youth in the United States (first- and second-generation) reached an estimated 6.9 million. They have come of age in conditions of extreme vulnerability due to their undocumented status or the undocumented status of their parents.
The challenges that immigrant youth face in the aftermath of deportation and return are varied. Emotional distress, post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression and alienation are commonly described as key factors during the first months to years of return. These young people have experienced family separation, a sense of alienation, and human rights violations during detention and deportation. Systemic and inter-personal discrimination against deportees and migrants among the non-migrant population in Mexico can make an already challenging situation more difficult. For some, an accent, a lack of language proficiency in Spanish, and/or tattoos make it difficult to “blend in,” find jobs, or continue their studies. In addition to emotional and socio-cultural stress, there are also facing systemic educational, employment and political barriers to local integration and stability.
This paper examines the phenomenon of binational immigrant youth and, in the interest of constructing a binational agenda that privileges the human security and socio-economic integration of immigrant youth in the United States and Mexico in the short- and long-term, proposes a list of binational public policy recommendations.
09/20/16 The Guardian
A new scheme to ease bureaucratic obstacles blocking access to health and education for hundreds of thousands of American-born children living in Mexico has been launched by the US and Mexican governments.
About 550,000 children born in the US are currently living across Mexico as a result of an increased number of deportations and voluntary repatriations driven by the US economic downturn and family obligations. These children face an array of legal and social difficulties assimilating into their new lives, including language and culture barriers, bullying, mental health problems and long delays getting into school.
19/09/16 The Wire
On September 19 and 20, world leaders will convene at the UN General Assembly for the first-ever Summit for Refugees and Migration. Although focusing primarily on the refugee crisis in Syria, the summit provides an opportunity to reflect on a humanitarian crisis that persists in southern Mexico.
In the summer of 2014, 70,000 Central American children arrived at the US-Mexico border, seeking refuge from the life-threatening conditions they faced in their home countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
09/06/2016 The New York Times
Is there actually a case for the Wall?
Donald Trump’s boast to build a “big, beautiful” wall along the southern border clearly provided a lift to his candidacy, arguably delivering him the Republican presidential nomination. Along with his promise to deport millions of immigrants who are living in the United States without legal authorization, it remains the leitmotif of his campaign, despite occasional bursts of softer rhetoric.
Mr. Trump is not wrong that immigration from Mexico and other countries in the poorer south over the last quarter-century has injured some American workers who competed with immigrants in the job market. It is not his concern alone; similar fears are shared by organized labor and others on the left of the political spectrum. Improbable as this may sound, the question he raises is legitimate.