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.”

Read more…

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…

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. 

SMU Tower Center launches unique research program for policy-based analysis of Texas-Mexico relationship

9/8/2015 Southern Methodist University

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies is launching an ambitious new program to research and promote policy-based discussion on the economic, political and social ties between Mexico and Texas.

The program is made possible through a $1 million gift from GRUMA-Mission Foods, a Mexican corporation with global reach headquartered in Dallas.  The program is designed to elevate the frequently fractured conversations about and between Texas and Mexico, creating a platform that examines shared issues through a policy lens. Plans include:

  • Texas-Mexico research, grants, reports, and white papers
  • Binational and bilingual annual conferences
  • Academic seminars and public forums

“Economics, energy, migration, culture, human capital, internet technology and cyber security are obvious topics for study, but the door is open,” said Juan Antonio González Moreno, Chairman and CEO of GRUMA. “We found in this program a tremendous opportunity to build a foundation for what should become the primary think tank on Texas-Mexico relations.” The list of potential topics is open to almost anything that impacts the relationship between Texas and Mexico.

What crisis? Urgency on border gone, says analyst

8/5/15 El Daily Post

Border - MexicoIn the weeks leading up to Thursday’s first debate of the 2016 presidential race, Republican candidates have sought to distinguish themselves from each other – and President Barack Obama – with ever-tougher positions on border security and illegal immigration, claiming current measures are failing.

And yet by many standards, the situation is not nearly as urgent as it was during last summer’s crisis and has improved steadily and markedly in some respects over the past decade or so – partly because of actions taken by the U.S. government, but also because of factors beyond Washington’s control.

Last year’s alarming surge of unaccompanied children and families arriving from Central America via Mexico has been cut by about half,according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a drop-off attributed in part to a crackdown by Mexico and better enforcement along the U.S. border.

Read more…

Computer visa glitch leaves migrant workers stranded at US-Mexico border

06/18/15 The Guardian

Migrant California vineyardA US government computer glitch has left hundreds of migrant farm workers stranded at the Mexican border, as their would-be employers now search for replacements to harvest their summer crops and combat further economic losses on both sides of the border.

Farms across the US rely on the H-2A visa program to hire temporary workers for each harvesting season. But the computer failure has prevented the government from issuing these visas to the predominantly Mexican workforce since last Wednesday.

Read more…

Mexico Now Detains More Central American Migrants than the United States

06/15/15 WOLA

Centroamerica_politicoWashington, D.C.—After a 2014 “surge” of unaccompanied minor migrants from Central America that set off alarms in the United States, the government of Mexico is now detaining more Central Americans than the United States, according to government data analyzed by the research and advocacy organization Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA).

Read more…