Adam Isacson

Defense, security, borders, migration, and human rights in Latin America and the United States. May not reflect my employer’s consensus view.


March 2022

Weekly U.S.-Mexico Border Update: March 25, 2022

With this series of weekly updates, WOLA seeks to cover the most important developments at the U.S.-Mexico border. See past weekly updates here.

The spring migration increase is underway

Weekly Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data shared with the Washington Post point to the agency being on pace to encounter undocumented migrants more than 200,000 times at the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of March. That is a threshold that CBP crossed in July (213,593) and August (209,840) of 2021. Arrivals dropped moderately after that, reaching 154,745 in January. March 2021, Joe Biden’s second full month in office, saw 173,277 migrant encounters.

“An internal email sent to senior ICE officials in recent days warned that authorities are bracing for a ‘mass migration event,'” the Post reported, “and urged closer coordination with charities and nongovernmental groups that can help shelter and transport migrants after they are released.”

As in recent months, many migrants are arriving in Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector, in rural mid-Texas. Del Rio was number one in migrant encounters among the agency’s nine U.S.-Mexico border sectors in January, and second in February. As of late 2020, there were 1,504 Border Patrol agents stationed in Del Rio, 6th among the 9 sectors. Border Patrol has just one temporary place-a tent compound in Eagle Pass, Texas-to hold and process apprehended migrants in Del Rio, other than its stations’ small holding cells.

“6 days in a row, DRT [Del Rio sector] agents are faced with large groups turning themselves in, over 700 migrants,” tweeted Border Patrol Chief Raúl Ortiz. “These type of encounters are exhausting our resources & manpower.” The sector chief reported 2,565 migrant encounters over the March 19-20 weekend, including four large groups turning themselves in to agents on March 18, 20, and 21.

Those four groups, totaling 485 people, were notable for their nationalities. Smugglers grouped together migrants from 17 countries, but only 2 out of the 485 individuals were from Mexico or Central America’s “Northern Triangle” (Honduras, in this case)-the countries that made up more than 90 percent of all apprehended migrants as recently as 2019 (and more than 95 percent in the years just before that). The rest were from countries, from Colombia to Cuba to Venezuela to several African nations, to which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cannot easily expel migrants using the Title 42 pandemic authority, due to distance or poor diplomatic relations.

The Washington Post reported that CBP is currently holding more than 15,000 migrants per day in short-term custody, up from fewer than 7,500 per day in February. Even after more than a year of consistently high migration numbers, the agency has permanent and temporary facilities able to hold and process only 5,200 migrants, plus the small holding cells at Border Patrol stations. Those processing facilities, mostly tents, are in Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley, Del Rio, El Paso, Tucson and Yuma sectors.

The capacity to process protection-seeking migrants-checking backgrounds and health status, gathering biometric data, starting asylum processes-is essential, especially if the COVID pandemic’s ebb brings an end to Title 42 expulsions. The 2022 Homeland Security appropriation, which finally became law on March 15, includes $200 million to build two permanent processing facilities, which Border Report calls “European-style ‘one-stop’ centers” incorporating several agencies under one roof.

A permanent processing facility was just renovated in McAllen, Texas, and another is nearing construction in El Paso using $192 million appropriated in February 2019. As of December, DHS was still seeking to purchase land for the El Paso site. The Department has 90 days to report to Congress its plans for the new $200 million outlay.

Title 42 may (or may not) be entering its last week

Processing capacity will be essential if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decides that reduced COVID indicators warrant a lifting of Title 42 restrictions. The policy comes up for a 60-day renewal-or termination-on March 30.

Since March 2020, the Trump and Biden administrations have depended on this provision to expel migrants quickly, without affording a chance to ask for asylum, more than 1.7 million times. If Title 42 goes away, then migrants must be processed under regular immigration law (including a small but growing portion of asylum seekers subjected to the “Remain in Mexico” program).

White House and DHS leadership say that the decision is up to the CDC. “They’re going to make the decision that they make within the parameters of their authority,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told the Washington Post. “It’s a public health authority, not an immigration policy. And so they’ll make their decision and then we will proceed accordingly.” The Washington Examiner reported that “multiple government officials,” including a “senior CBP official,” are expecting the CDC to end Title 42 by April. It is still possible, though, that the CDC could cite the coronavirus’s emerging BA.2 variant as a reason to continue the border expulsions policy.

Though DHS has set up a “command post,” among other steps, to deal with a potential post-Title 42 overwhelm, CBP’s processing capacity (discussed above) remains insufficient. A March 24 letter to President Biden from Arizona’s two moderate Democratic senators, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, worries that DHS has not created a “comprehensive plan” for “a secure, orderly, and humane process at the border” after Title 42, despite the senators having requested one of Secretary Mayorkas last June. For that reason, Kelly and Sinema ask that Title 42 remain in place-even without a public health justification-until a plan exists and DHS is ready to carry it out.

Title 42’s use meanwhile continues to expand. Following discussions with the Government of Colombia, earlier this month DHS began using Title 42 to expel hundreds of Colombian migrants back to Bogotá by air, CBS News revealed. A credible source tells WOLA that many Colombian migrant families were held in cells for as much as 20 days in Border Patrol’s Yuma sector stations, only to be expelled. The expulsions policy was meant to be a public health measure to avoid exactly this sort of practice: holding people for long periods in cramped CPB spaces where the virus could spread.

Title 42 continues to close ports of entry (official border crossings) to asylum seekers. At the line between Tijuana and San Diego, that has meant CBP officers turning away Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion, and Russians fleeing the Putin government’s repression. U.S. authorities have begun admitting Ukrainians, offering them humanitarian parole. CBS News’s Camilo Montoya-Gálvez tweeted that between February 23 and March 23, 168 Ukrainians had requested parole.

Russians are among the many other nationalities whose asylum seekers remain in limbo in Tijuana. Blocked by Title 42, some Russian families have been camped out on the sidewalk outside the San Ysidro port of entry leading to San Diego. Nationals from other countries, from Central America to Africa, continue to be unable to access protection at the port. “The racism is blatant at this point,” Hollie Webb, an attorney with the Tijuana-San Diego legal services organization Al Otro Lado, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Mexico’s foreign secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, said on March 21 that 1,300 Russian and Ukrainian citizens have gathered at the U.S. border. They appear to be concentrated mostly in the western part of the border: officials in Ciudad Juárez say they have seen “few if any” Ukrainians. In Baja California, the Mexican state whose largest city is Tijuana, education officials said that they had enrolled 15 Russian and Ukrainian children in the state’s schools.

“Operation Lone Star” faces serious questions

It has been just over a year since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), a fierce critic of the Biden administration’s border policies, launched “Operation Lone Star,” a big state-funded security deployment along Texas’s border with Mexico. Abbott has increased the state’s border security budget to more than $3 billion through 2023. These funds have paid for miles of fencing on state-owned and some private land, along with the reconditioning of two jails to hold migrants arrested on state trespassing charges.

Operation Lone Star has sent about 10,000 Texas National Guardsmen and state police to the border. “To pull this off,” the Texas Observer noted this week, “the state ordered Guard members, under threat of possible arrest, to separate from families and civilian jobs, sometimes with just days’ notice, for an assignment set to last a year.”

As past WOLA Border Updates have reported, Abbott’s military deployment has been seriously troubled. “Troops have dealt with late paychecks, limited access to necessary equipment and cramped living conditions for a mission that some soldiers have said lacks purpose,” Stars and Stripes put it this week. Several soldiers have committed, or attempted, suicide.

The deployment’s problems have brought some unusual mid-course leadership changes. This week, the Texas National Guard abruptly replaced the commander of its 36th Infantry Division, which comprises 16,000 of Texas’s 23,200 National Guard troops. Gen. Charles Aris is the second Texas general to be replaced in two weeks: Gov. Abbott pushed out Gen. Tracy Norris as adjutant-general of the Texas Military Department on March 14. “Transitions for both command positions are typically announced in advance and include a formal public ceremony,” Stars and Stripes reported. “The announcements made last week were effective immediately and officials said ‘appropriate’ ceremonies are in the planning stages.”

At a March 10 event in the Rio Grande Valley, Gov. Abbott had commemorated Operation Lone Star’s one-year anniversary, claiming many criminal arrests, drug seizures, and migrant apprehensions. A big March 21 investigation by the Marshall Project, ProPublica, and the Texas Tribune cast serious doubt on these claims of success. The journalistic organizations found that among the Operation’s purported results, Texas authorities had been counting arrests and drug seizures that took place far from the border, involving police units unaffiliated with “Lone Star,” and in some cases taking place before the deployment even began. They note that “Abbott, DPS [Texas Department of Public Safety] and the Texas Military Department have fought two dozen public records requests from the news organizations that would provide a clearer picture of the operation’s accomplishments.”

Operation Lone Star’s arrests and jailings of migrants continue to be very controversial. A new filing by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, in a lawsuit challenging the mass arrests’ constitutionality, finds that migrants continue to be locked up for as much as five months before having access to an attorney or having misdemeanor charges filed against them. Texas law requires that defendants be assigned a lawyer within three days of asking for one, and prohibits jailing misdemeanor defendants without charges for more than 30 days.

On March 22 the Texas Observer profiled one of Operation Lone Star’s most outspoken critics, Sgt. Jason Featherston, who until late 2021 was the command sergeant major of the Texas Army National Guard. Guardsmen are part-time volunteer soldiers with civilian careers and families; Abbott gave most just a week or two to get their affairs in order and report to an unclear border mission. “Many requested exemption from deployment and were denied,” the Observer reports. “Among them were hospital staff combatting COVID-19 surges in their local communities; police officers in understaffed departments; a federal agent who helps protect the country’s nuclear weapons; and Texans helping tend to ailing relatives.” In Sgt. Featherston’s view, “Texas was trying to get a number to go to the border; they didn’t care how they got it.”


  • WOLA published a photo essay recounting an early March trip to the Del Rio, Laredo, and Rio Grande Valley sectors of the U.S.-Mexico border, including four Mexican border cities.
  • The Biden administration has published new regulations to govern the process by which migrants seek asylum. They empower asylum officers at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to issue decisions, among other efforts to “streamline” the overloaded adjudication system. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the American Immigration Council summarizes the new rules’ 512 pages in a Twitter thread. He warns that the streamlined timelines, aiming to process cases within about 90 days, “are punishing, brutal, and will almost certainly prevent the vast majority of asylum seekers going through this system from being able to obtain lawyers.” The new rules will begin their phase-in in a little more than two months.
  • A letter from 22 House Democrats to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, led by Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-El Paso, Texas) calls for in-country asylum processing programs, so that protection-seeking migrants might avoid “harsh terrain, threats of violence, harassment from local authorities, and even exploitation by smugglers and cartels” in the journey across Mexico.
  • The more than 2,000 migrants packed under tents and tarps in a plaza in the high-crime border city of Reynosa, bottled up there by Title 42, are to be moved soon to a safer site at a converted baseball field. That project, though, is running far behind schedule, Border Report’s Sandra Sánchez finds, and Reynosa municipal authorities want the migrants out of the square.
  • Nuevo Laredo continues to experience a convulsion of violence in the wake of the March 14 arrest and extradition of the town’s maximum organized-crime boss, Juan Gerardo “El Huevo” Treviño. Mexico’s federal government deployed 250 elite special forces troops to the city.
  • Staff from the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) spoke to EFE about a recent visit to Panama’s migrant reception centers at the end of the treacherous Darién Gap jungle route. CEJIL’s director for Central America and Mexico, former Guatemalan attorney general Claudia Paz y Paz, said that “more and more women, and with minors” are crossing the Darién, “and the main consequence is an increase in sexual violence suffered during transit.” Panamanian government statistics indicate that 30 percent of migrants who passed through the Darién during the first two months of 2022 were Venezuelan-more than double the second-place country, Haiti.
  • Nicaragua’s November 2021 lifting of visa requirements for visiting Cubans has created a new migration route through Central America and Mexico to the U.S. border, BBC Mundo reports. Cuba was the number-three country of citizenship of migrants encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border in February. Florida International University expert Jorge Duany calls the Nicaragua route a “silent Mariel,” referring to a historic 1980 mass migration event. The entire trip, including exorbitant airfare, smugglers’ fees, and bribes to officials, costs about $10,000 per person.
  • Nicaraguans, too, are fleeing to the United States in increasing numbers. “The historic destination had been Costa Rica, but the course changed,” Divergentes reports. “Nicaragua is going to empty out like Venezuela,” a migrant said.
  • “Returns to Haiti are life-threatening now, and will continue to be so, until security conditions in Haiti improve,” reads a new report from Human Rights Watch calling on the United States to suspend expulsions and other removals.
  • Daily protests by migrants stranded in the Mexico-Guatemala border zone city of Tapachula, Chiapas have become violent at times, Lillian Perlmutter reports at the Los Angeles Times. “Frustration rises to a boil, and people begin throwing things.”
  • Protesting migrants reportedly blocked a road less than an hour’s drive south of the U.S. border in Allende, Coahuila, site of a notorious 2011 massacre abetted by a DEA trained and vetted federal police unit. The migrants claim that their documents are in order, but Mexican forces are blocking them from traveling further north to the border (Del Rio sector).
  • CBP documents and situation reports that The Intercept obtained via the Freedom of Information Act reveal extreme steps the agency, along with Mexican authorities, took to block “migrant caravan” participants’ attempt to seek asylum in early 2019. Mexican forces confined nearly 2,000 migrants to a former body-bag factory in Piedras Negras, and blocked others from accessing the port of entry across the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas. “Some of the Mexican officials watching over the migrants were part of Fuerza Coahuila, a body within the Coahuila State Police that has faced hundreds of complaints of human rights abuses, including forced disappearances.”
  • CBP has published a plan and a “stakeholder feedback report” outlining proposed efforts to “remediate” border barriers in the agency’s Tucson, Arizona sector.
  • The Border Chronicle reveals that “Veterans on Patrol,” a militia that espouses QAnon conspiracies, is intercepting unaccompanied minors near the border wall in Arizona. “They take the phone numbers of the children’s sponsors and, in some cases, confront the sponsors at their homes in the United States.” Local Border Patrol agents appear to be aware of and cooperating with them.
  • While a Border Patrol agent was apprehending a group of migrants near the border wall in Santa Teresa, New Mexico earlier this month, an individual came across from Mexico, hurled a rock through the windshield of the agent’s parked SUV, and crossed back into Mexico.

Weekly Border Update: March 18, 2022

With this series of weekly updates, WOLA seeks to cover the most important developments at the U.S.-Mexico border. See past weekly updates here.

Will Title 42 end? What might happen next?

“Title 42,” the pandemic emergency provision the Trump and Biden administrations have used to rapidly expel migrants from the U.S.-Mexico border region more than 1.7 million times, may be nearing an end as U.S. COVID case rates and restrictions fall. The provision, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has used to expel even migrants claiming fear for their lives if removed, is up for renewal at the end of March or beginning of April, and it’s not clear whether it will be prolonged or allowed to lapse.

Late on March 11, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) altered its March 2020 order, exempting unaccompanied children. In practice, no non-Mexican unaccompanied children had been expelled since November 2020, when a Washington, DC District Court judge halted such expulsions. In January 2021, though, that judge was overruled by a DC Circuit Court panel-but the new Biden administration refused to expel unaccompanied children. On March 4 a District Court judge in Texas went further, seeking to compel the administration to resume expelling unaccompanied children; the response was the March 11 CDC modification to its Title 42 order.

A CDC document accompanying that modification noted that the next 60-day renewal of Title 42 is imminent. The deadline is either March 30 or “early April.” Whether the public health agency will renew it is not clear. “We continue to defer to the CDC on the use of Title 42 and how long it might remain in effect,” a White House official told Axios.

On a March 17 call with reporters, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the CDC’s decision will depend on “where we are in the arc of the COVID-19 pandemic,” noting that new coronavirus variants have emerged. “If BA.2 variant drives up cases,” the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff tweeted, “it wouldn’t be the first time DHS preparations for ending T42 are stalled by covid resurgence, giving Biden admin public health rationale for extending it.”

Several events in the past week have increased pressure on the Biden administration to do away with Title 42 once and for all.

  • Outrage followed Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers’ use of Title 42 authority to turn away Ukrainian asylum seekers at the main Tijuana-San Diego port of entry. The first Ukrainians arrived on March 7, and U.S. lawyers in Tijuana had to fight hard to get CBP to admit the families, part of a flow of refugees from the Russian invasion who had flown to Mexico with the intent of seeking asylum in the United States. By March 17, Mayorkas said, DHS had issued guidance to CBP officers stationed at the borderline to consider using the discretion that Title 42 gives them to make exceptions. A separate DHS policy is offering Ukrainians a one-year grant of humanitarian parole in the United States-not asylum, which must be granted in immigration court-on a case-by-case basis.
  • “Advocates for migrants said the DHS guidance for Ukrainians showed unequal and discriminatory treatment of asylum-seekers based on their countries of origin, which is barred under international refugee law,” CBS News reported. Among the many nationalities whose asylum seekers remain frozen out of U.S. ports of entry by Title 42 are Russians fleeing persecution from the Putin regime. Tijuana municipal authorities even issued Russians a letter in their native language warning them to vacate the vicinity of the port of entry.
  • In a new quarterly report, Human Rights First revealed that it has tracked “at least 9,886 kidnappings, torture, rape, and other violent attacks on people blocked in or expelled to Mexico due to the Title 42 policy under the Biden administration.”
  • This week the Biden administration’s 209th removal flight departed for Haiti; about two-thirds of the 20,700 Haitians aboard these planes have been Title 42 expulsions. “Stop deporting and expelling people to Haiti. Now,” read a letter to Mayorkas and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky from Reps. Mondaire Jones (D-New York) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), whose districts have large Haitian-American populations.
  • The Senate’s majority leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), was among four Democratic senators whose March 12 statement read, “We are deeply disappointed in the Biden Administration’s decision to maintain Title 42. While we recognize that the Administration made the right choice to prevent unaccompanied children from being expelled, it is wrong that they made the decision to continue sending families with minor children back to persecution and torture.” Talking to reporters during the week of March 7, Schumer added, “it’s unacceptable that this policy continues to be used indiscriminately to remove migrants with valid refugee claims from our southern border.”
  • “Enough is enough,” read a March 12 statement from Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Raúl Ruiz (D-California). “It is long overdue to completely end the Trump-initiated Title 42 policy and stop using the pandemic as an excuse to keep it going.”

Should Title 42 end in about two weeks, many asylum-seeking migrants may seize the long-delayed opportunity to present at, or between, ports of entry to turn themselves in to U.S. authorities. It is not clear that DHS has been putting in place the infrastructure and personnel necessary to process that massive protection demand in an orderly way. Though images of a chaotic rush to the border could create political problems for the Biden administration as midterm legislative elections approach, preparations at the border appear to be incipient.

Secretary Mayorkas told reporters that DHS is “operationalizing preparations for different possibilities.” Axios reports that “U.S. intelligence officials are privately bracing for a massive influx of more than 170,000 migrants at the Mexico border.”

Axios reporters Jonathan Swan and Stef Kight note that the Biden administration is putting together a Southwest Border Coordination Center (SBCC), based in Washington and headed by Border Patrol official Matthew Hudak. This SBCC, which is still forming, will be “essentially a war room to coordinate an interagency response,” incorporating personnel from the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Justice, Defense, and Health and Human Services (HHS). Other preparations underway, according to Swan and Kight, include:

  • Meetings among officials from different agencies to draw up a “Southwest Border Mass Irregular Migration Contingency Plan.”
  • A March 16 call on DHS employees “to consider stepping forward to support the DHS Volunteer Force” to help process large numbers of migrants at the border.
  • The possibility of surging “hundreds or thousands” of additional personnel from DHS’s component agencies and from HHS.
  • Possible requests to the U.S. Marshals Service and Defense Department for air and ground transportation to transfer migrants.
  • Possible requests for “dozens of buses from the Bureau of Prisons to transport migrants between DHS facilities.”
  • Possible expansion or construction of tent-based facilities for short-term processing and sheltering of “up to 2,000 migrants apiece.”

As these preparations are all in their early stages, there is a strong likelihood that CBP’s existing processing capacity might be overwhelmed if Title 42 abruptly terminates at the end of March. Border-zone nonprofits and service providers, like the San Diego and Tijuana-based Al Otro Lado, note that they could play a big role in helping to make the flow more orderly, but that they have received no response from the U.S. government.

Preparations for a post-Title 42 reality have included diplomatic efforts. BuzzFeed reported that DHS officials have been planning to tell Mexican counterparts that Title 42 “may come to an end as soon as April, which could lead to an increase of immigrants coming to the border and a strain on resources.” DHS Secretary Mayorkas was in Mexico City on March 14, his fourth visit to Mexico, where he discussed migration with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and other top officials. The next day Mayorkas was in Costa Rica, where he signed a migration cooperation arrangement with authorities in San José. In February Costa Rica started requiring visas for Venezuelans and Cubans.

More Colombians and Cubans, fewer Venezuelans and families, encountered in February

CBP released its latest update of data about migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, covering February. It found a slight increase in migrant arrivals over January, led by single adults and unaccompanied children. Arrivals of families fell, as did migrants from Venezuela. Here are some highlights:

CBP has encountered migrants at the border 838,685 times in the first five months of fiscal year 2022. During the first five months of fiscal 2021, the agency had 397,549 encounters. At the current rate, migrant encounters would exceed 2 million for the first time ever.

The 164,973 migrant encounters in February were the most in a month of February since 2000. This represented a 7 percent increase over January, which is usually a less-busy month. Numbers are likely to increase throughout the spring even if Title 42 remains in place.

“Encounters” include a lot of repeat crossers, especially now that Title 42’s rapid expulsions facilitate numerous attempts. CBP reported encountering 116,678 actual individual migrants in February, a 5 percent increase over January’s reported number (though CBP’s release calls it a 2 percent increase). 30 percent of encounters were with migrants whom the agency had already apprehended at least once. (The “re-encounter rate” was just 14 percent between 2014 and 2019.)

February saw the largest number of people expelled under Title 42 since October: 91,513, or 55 percent of all encounters. As of February 28, CBP had expelled migrants on 1,706,076 occasions.

Arrivals of family units (parents with children) continued a long decline. 26,811 family-unit members were encountered in February, down 69 percent from August (87,054). Of those, less than 19,000 avoided expulsion under Title 42. Only about 3,000 of these non-expelled families came from Mexico or from Central America’s “northern triangle” countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras).

After dipping in January, encounters with unaccompanied children increased 37 percent in February, to 12,011. On an average day in February, CBP had 520 unaccompanied kids in short-term custody, up from 295 in January.

Encounters with single adults, meanwhile, hit their highest monthly total since CBP started publicly breaking down data by demographic group in October 2011. 126,151 of February’s encounters-76 percent of the total-were with single adults.

The countries that saw the most notable increases in migration in February were Colombia (up 135 percent since December), Cuba (up 107 percent), and Mexico (up 38 percent). Cuba was the number-three country of citizenship of migrants encountered at the border last month. Colombia was sixth, for the first time ever. Mexico does not require visas of arriving Colombians, so-as has happened in the past year with Brazilians, Ecuadorians, and Venezuelans-many appear to be arriving by air in Mexico and arriving at the U.S. border. Nicaragua removed visa requirements for Cubans in November, and more appear to be taking a route from Managua through Central America and Mexico.

The countries that saw the most notable decreases in migration are Venezuela (down 88 percent since December), Brazil (down 83 percent), and Haiti (down 75 percent). Venezuela was the number-two country of citizenship of migrants encountered at the border in November, December, and January; on January 21, however, Mexico (at strong U.S. urging) reinstated visa requirements for Venezuelans. Encounters with Venezuelans fell from 22,779 in January to 3,072 in February.

Four countries made up 98 percent of all Title 42 expulsions in February: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Under an arrangement made in March 2020, Mexico accepts expulsions of all four nationalities’ citizens across its land border with the United States. Adding two more countries whose citizens get expelled by air, Haiti and Brazil, brings a total of 99.6 percent of Title 42 expulsions being applied to the citizens of six countries.

Those countries account, though, for only 69 percent of all migrants encountered in February. The remaining 31 percent comprised the other 0.4 percent of February’s Title 42 expulsions. Of those non-expelled migrants, 45 percent came from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Another 13 percent came from Colombia. As noted below, these are the top four countries of citizenship of migrants placed into the revived “Remain in Mexico” program.

Two until-recently quiet, remote border areas, Border Patrol’s sectors in Del Rio (Texas) and Yuma (Arizona-California), continue to see an outsized proportion of migrants from these “hard-to-expel” countries. Due to a decline in Venezuelan and Haitian arrivals, Del Rio fell out of first place among Border Patrol’s nine U.S.-Mexico border sectors-a position it occupied for the first time ever in January. Texas’s Rio Grande Valley sector, the busiest since mid-2013, regained that position.

At least through February, arrivals of migrants from the Ukraine and Russia were relatively few. Most migrants from those countries, as noted above, have been arriving in the San Diego sector.

2022 budget becomes law

Five and a half months into the 2022 fiscal year, Congress has sent President Biden legislation to fund the U.S. government, which he signed on March 15. Of the budget bill’s components, one section (“Division F”) funds the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The full bill’s text is here, and the explanatory statement for Division F is here.

The House of Representatives’ version of the DHS appropriation had reflected priorities of progressive Democrats. In the Senate, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, a draft bill that never made it through committee hewed closer to the status quo. High-level negotiations between both houses’ leaderships resulted in Senate priorities winning out more often, as Republicans dug in on some key issues.

Most prominent of these was funding to build border wall segments. About $1.9 billion in funding appropriated in 2018 and 2019 for wall construction remained unspent. Though both houses’ draft bills sought to rescind (cancel) that wall-building money, the final budget law keeps it in place. As the law stands right now, the Biden administration is compelled to use this money to build barriers, a use of funds that DHS leadership claims to oppose. CBP has laid out plans to build about 86 miles of new border barrier and related elements in south Texas’s Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron counties.

The bill provides $100 million “for Border Patrol hiring and contractors, retention and relocation incentives and contract support.” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), who represents a border district and is the number-two member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, said that the money could go to hire 800 new Border Patrol personnel, bringing the agency’s workforce up to 19,555 agents. (A January DHS Inspector-General report found that Border Patrol had 19,513 agents in October, so either there has since been a lot of attrition, or Rep. Cuellar’s numbers are a bit off.)

The Washington Post reports that $21 million in funding, and perhaps a portion of a larger $276 million outlay for “border security technologies,” would expand a program of solar-powered “autonomous surveillance towers.” These mobile bundles of cameras and sensors run artificial-intelligence code produced by Anduril, a company founded by virtual-reality entrepreneur Palmer Luckey, that can apparently determine whether a moving object is an animal or a person. About 175 of these towers are currently deployed along the border, and the new appropriation could bring the total to 204. These and other gadgets are the focus of a newly founded Border Security Technology Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, founded by two Republican and two centrist Democratic members of Congress.

The bill also includes an additional $130.5 million, above existing appropriations, to build two new “joint processing centers” for arriving migrants at the border.

Rough week for security in Mexico border zone

On the evening of March 13 Mexico’s Army detained one of the country’s most powerful organized crime bosses, Juan Gerardo Treviño, alias “El Huevo” (“The Egg”), in the violent border city of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, across from Laredo, Texas. The city erupted in violence overnight, which persisted throughout the week, as Treviño’s men set fire to vehicles, attacked military posts, and even fired on, and threw a grenade at, the U.S. Consulate.

Treviño is the nephew of Miguel Ángel Treviño, alias “Z-40,” who led the Zetas cartel about a decade ago when it was one of Mexico’s bloodiest and most feared organizations. “Huevo’s” remnant of that group, referred to as the “Northeast Cartel,” has tightly controlled Nuevo Laredo, which bestrides the busiest land cargo border crossing in North America. On a March 9 visit to Nuevo Laredo (coincidentally five days before Treviño’s capture), WOLA’s Adam Isacson heard unanimous testimony that the Northeast Cartel not only controls the drug trade through the city, but dominates migrant smuggling and kidnapping of migrants for ransom. “Huevo’s” organization was viewed as untouchable because of its deep inroads into all local government and security institutions.

Amid the mayhem, the State Department has closed the U.S. consulate in Nuevo Laredo. “U.S. government employees have been instructed to avoid the area and shelter in place until further notice,” reads a statement from U.S. Ambassador Ken Salazar. “U.S. citizens should avoid the affected areas near the Consulate and should notify their loved ones of their well-being.” CBP briefly closed two of the border bridges’ southbound lanes between Laredo and Nuevo Laredo.

Juan Gerardo Treviño was swiftly extradited to the United States via Tijuana. He faces 11 counts related to drug trafficking and weapons possession.

Nuevo Laredo is the westernmost city in Mexico’s border state of Tamaulipas, which stretches to the Gulf of Mexico. Of Mexico’s six border states, Tamaulipas is the only one to have a level-four “Do Not Travel” warning from the U.S. State Department. Despite that, CBP has expelled 138,807 migrants into Tamaulipas from its Laredo and Rio Grande Valley sectors since October 2021, and Mexico has received another 7,411 of its deported citizens in Tamaulipas between October and January.

Further east in Tamaulipas, tense security conditions caused the exit from the U.S. consulate in Matamoros of all non-essential personnel. Matamoros is largely controlled by the Gulf Cartel, a rival of Treviño’s Northeast Cartel. Throughout the state, InsightCrime warns, a weakened Northeast Cartel could provide an entry to the hyper-violent and rapidly expanding Jalisco New Generation Cartel, which would further worsen already high violence levels.

On the other end of the border, in Tijuana, Mexico’s Army sent an additional 400 Army troops in an effort to reduce very high levels of homicides. The new personnel include “infantry, paratroopers, and special forces,” reports the Tijuana daily El Imparcial.

“Remain in Mexico” numbers

Between December 6 and March 17, 1,217 asylum seekers had been sent to Mexico under the court-ordered revival of the “Remain in Mexico” (RMX) program, CBS News’s Camilo Montoya-Galvez reported: 520 from El Paso into Ciudad Juárez; 345 from Brownsville into Matamoros and Monterrey; 296 from San Diego into Tijuana; and 57 from Laredo to Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey.

A new monthly Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “Cohort Report” table indicates that the number of asylum-seeking migrants newly enrolled into RMX more than doubled from January to February, increasing from 273 in December to 399 in January, and to 897 in February.

Many migrants initially enrolled in RMX avoid being sent back to Mexico because they demonstrated reasonable fear of harm, or due to other vulnerabilities. Those who were actually sent to Mexico and remained there, as of February 28, also more than doubled from January to February (December 209, January 253, February 551).

Nicaragua dominates among countries of citizenship of those initially enrolled into RMX.

  • Nicaragua 1,111
  • Venezuela 189
  • Cuba 124
  • Colombia 73
  • Ecuador 40
  • Peru 27
  • Dominican Republic 3
  • Costa Rica 1
  • Guatemala 1

Those are initial enrollments; the DHS report does not provide the nationalities of those who remained in Mexico awaiting hearing dates.

As of February 28 all enrolled migrants had been adults, 92 percent of them male. 86 percent expressed fear of returning to Mexico. Of those who expressed fear, 18 percent received a “positive fear” determination and did not get sent back to Mexico, and another 12 percent had their cases closed.

The Biden administration continues to challenge the August order, from a Texas district court judge, requiring it to reinstate RMX, a program begun by the Trump administration. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on April 26th, and the Biden administration filed a brief this week.


  • The Texas Tribune found that some National Guardsmen deployed to the border by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) have been ordered to station themselves outside some of the wealthiest private ranches in south Texas. “Troops rarely saw migrants from their posts nearly 80 miles away from the border and were unable to give chase because they were not authorized to enter the private ranches.” The Texas Tribune and Army Times, which have reported extensively on this very troubled deployment of military personnel on U.S. soil, noted that-in a tacit acknowledgement that the mission has been a debacle-Abbot abruptly replaced the leader of the Texas Military Department on March 14.
  • A new DHS report on domestic violent extremism within the Department’s workforce, produced at the initiative of Secretary Mayorkas, “found very few instances of the DHS workforce having been engaged in domestic violent extremism.” It warned, however, that DHS-which includes CBP, Border Patrol, and ICE-“has significant gaps that have impeded its ability to comprehensively prevent, detect, and respond to potential threats related to domestic violent extremism within DHS.”
  • The director of Mexico’s migration agency, the National Migration Institute (INM), said that 1,800 of its agents have been fired during the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which began in December 2018, “for different causes, such as corruption, dishonesty or absenteeism.” In 2019 the Mexican government reported that the INM employed 4,133 agents, so 1,800 firings would represent 44 percent of the force.
  • The Houston Chronicle published a lengthy and graphically vivid feature recounting Haitian migrants’ long journey from Chile to the Texas border.
  • A vessel carrying 123 Haitians who had left that country five days earlier ran aground in the Florida Keys on March 14. All aboard made it to shore and are now in ICE custody.
  • Border Patrol found the body of a four-year-old Nicaraguan girl whose mother lost her in the river’s current while crossing on March 4 between Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila and Del Rio, Texas.
  • An annual report from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) found that the agency deported 59,011 people in fiscal 2021, “an historical low” according to CBS News. (As CBP expelled 1,071,075 people at the border under Title 42 in fiscal 2021, the overall number of people removed from the United States was historically high.)
  • Hundreds of migrants unable to register themselves in Mexico’s southern border-zone city of Tapachula went to Ciudad Hidalgo, the town directly on Mexico’s border with Guatemala about 20 miles away, to try to register at INM’s facility at the port of entry. Local media said the migrants, most of them from Cuba and Venezuela, “violently broke into the customs facilities and access to the international bridge.” Personnel from Mexico’s INM and militarized National Guard then carried out a series of raids and roundups of migrants in Ciudad Hidalgo, whom the agencies placed in detention.
  • “I tried twice to go to the United States, but it didn’t go well and I said: ‘If I survived in Honduras, why can’t I survive here in Tapachula? Here it’s quiet, you walk everywhere and we haven’t had any problems,'” Honduran migrant Carol Castro told the Border Hub project. Castro, who has founded a “pole dance” school in Tapachula, is among a growing number of Hondurans settling there.
  • “Biden’s team is betting, it seems, that it can keep the worst of the immigration crisis confined to Mexico and that the U.S. public will continue to ignore the problem, as it long has,” reads a Foreign Affairs analysis by Ana Raquel Minian of Stanford University, who contends that this is a longstanding U.S. practice.

Weekly Border Update: March 4, 2022

With this series of weekly updates, WOLA seeks to cover the most important developments at the U.S.-Mexico border. See past weekly updates here.

Due to staff travel, there will be no border update on March 11. The next edition will appear on March 18.

Developing: as this update goes up mid-day on March 4, a District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals has just issued a ruling placing some limits on Title 42 expulsions of asylum-seeking families. It appears to uphold the practice of rapidly expelling asylum-seekers for public health reasons, but it also requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to avoid expelling people to places where they might be in danger of persecution or torture. This may require DHS to carry out reasonable fear interviews of all who express fear of expulsion.

House holds hearing on “Remain in Mexico”

The House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations held a March 2 hearing to examine the Biden administration’s court-ordered resumption of the “Remain in Mexico” policy. This is the controversial program that the Trump administration employed between January 2019 and January 2021 to send over 71,000 non-Mexican asylum seekers to await their U.S. hearings inside Mexico, usually in Mexican border cities with some of the world’s highest violent crime rates. The Biden administration terminated the program during its first months, only to have a Texas district court judge order its reinstatement in August 2021.

In written testimony, the acting assistant DHS  secretary for border and immigration, Blas Nuñez-Neto, offered some statistics about the renewed Remain in Mexico program, which sent its first asylum seekers to Mexico on December 8. As of February 28:

  • 1,602 people had been enrolled in the program.
  • Of those, 893 had been returned to Mexico. 181 were still being processed. The rest were exempted due to vulnerabilities or because of a “reasonable possibility” of persecution and torture in Mexico.
  • One was “a family unit individual,” who was later removed from the program.
  • All had been Spanish speakers, “primarily from Nicaragua, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, and Ecuador.”
  • Of the 1,602, 1,313 (82 percent) had claimed a fear of harm in Mexico. Of those, 225 (17 percent) received a “positive determination” and were removed from Remain in Mexico. Another 12 percent had their cases administratively closed.
  • During their non-refoulement interviews (to determine fear of return to Mexico), 2 percent had legal representation.

“As of this week,” Nuñez-Neto said, Remain in Mexico returns “are now occurring in four locations across the entire Southwest border.” Those are El Paso-Ciudad Juárez; San Diego-Tijuana; Brownsville-Matamoros; and, as of this week, Laredo-Nuevo Laredo. Those being returned to the especially high-crime cities of Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo are given the option of transportation further south to the city of Monterrey. The first two migrants were returned to Nuevo Laredo on Thursday, March 3, and opted to go to Monterrey. The Mexican daily El Financiero reportedthat the UN-affiliated International Organization for Migration (IOM) “committed to transport them whenever they are called upon to continue their legal process” in the United States.

Immigration court facilities for those with Remain in Mexico hearing dates are now operating in El Paso, San Diego, and Brownsville. In Brownsville on February 15, the Biden administration reopened makeshift “tent courts” where asylum seekers will argue their cases with remote judges over video. Laredo’s tent court hearings will begin on or about March 28.

The 100-minute, 2-panel hearing was attended mostly by members of the Republican minority. The subcommittee’s chairwoman, Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-California), opened by noting her disappointment in the renewed Remain in Mexico program after a visit to San Diego and Tijuana. “I argue that more work needs to be done,” she said, pointing out that some relatives who don’t meet the definition of a nuclear family continue to be separated, that some people must plead their cases in non-refoulement interviews while under the influence of COVID vaccine side effects, and that most migrants are unable to secure legal representation.

Higgins and the ranking Republican on the full Homeland Security Committee, Rep. John Katko (R-New York), complained that “only 13” people per day are currently being made to remain in Mexico. “That’s only a quarter of one percent of those caught. That is not right,” Katko said. The Republican members argue that this does not constitute the “good faith effort” to reinstate Remain in Mexico that Amarillo, Texas Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ordered in August 2021.

Republicans offered other critiques of the Biden administration’s management of the revived program. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-North Carolina) speculated about lawyers “coaching” asylum seekers “to say that they’re depressed or have anxiety” in order to avoid being returned to Mexico. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Georgia) complained about “tax dollars” being used to transport migrants to their hearings and to pay for items like wi-fi access in shelters so that they can communicate with counsel. “You know, I wish we treated our United States citizens that well.”

A Republican witness, Arizona state Department of Homeland Security Director Tim Roemer, incorrectly said “yes” when asked, “there should be no reason that an illegal or that an immigrant who wants to come here under a case of asylum couldn’t go to a legal port of entry, is that correct?” (Ports of entry have been closed to asylum seekers and other undocumented migrants since at least March 2020.)

Writing from Ciudad Juarez for The Intercept, John Washington spoke to Remain in Mexico-enrolled migrants who have been staying in a giant shelter operated by Mexico’s federal government. In addition to dangers from corrupt police and national guardsmen tied to kidnappers, Washington described

prison-like conditions, bad and insufficient food, filthy bathrooms, excessive cold, and lack of Covid precautions, including not quarantining people who were infected and guards not using masks. One of the guards, Mateo [a migrant afraid to use his real name] said to me, has repeatedly told some of the migrants, “You don’t belong here. You’re worth s—.” Another guard with a reputation for being a martinet told a Venezuelan man enrolled in MPP that he would disappear him if he didn’t comply with the rules.

Organized crime flares up in Tamaulipas, Mexico

On the eastern end of the U.S.-Mexico border is the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which extends from Nuevo Laredo to the Gulf of Mexico. This is one of five of Mexico’s thirty-two states—and the only border state—to which the State Department has assigned its highest level of warning: “do not travel,” due to “crime and kidnapping.” The Remain in Mexico program is now operating across from two Tamaulipas cities, Matamoros and Nuevo Laredo, though migrants have the option of transportation a few hours further south to the city of Monterrey, in the state of Nuevo León.

Tamaulipas’s border municipalities endured a spike in organized crime violence beginning around February 24. Mexican newspapers—often relying on social media reports because press reporting on organized crime activity is dangerous— described days of running gun battles, police pursuits, destruction of police surveillance cameras, and criminals hijacking trucks and buses in order to park them across main thoroughfares, blockading all traffic. Incidents were reported in and around the border cities of Reynosa and Matamoros, and elsewhere along the Ribereña highway that parallels the Rio Grande along Mexico’s side of the border.

Mexico’s Elefante Blanco news site pointed out that “the entire danger zone is coincidentally controlled by the Gulf Cartel, according to Mexican government reports.” The site adds, citing “Tamaulipas government sources,” that a triggering event may have been the February 24 arrest in the border town of Díaz Ordaz west of Reynosa, of Obed “P”, a U.S. citizen facing charges of homicide in the United States.

On the front lines of the flareup was the Tamaulipas state police force’s Special Operations Group (GOPES), a unit that has received some U.S. assistance. GOPES is controversial because of members’ alleged involvement in serious human rights abuses, including a September 2019 massacre in Nuevo Laredo and a January 2021 massacre near the border town of Camargo of 19 people, 17 of them Central American migrants.

Following violence on February 24, as they often do, criminal groups hung banners with messages seeking to justify their violence. Some accused the GOPES unit of “wanting to sow terror” in Tamaulipas. In the first two months of 2022, the daily Milenio reported, GOPES has been attacked thirteen times while patrolling near the border, often with Mexican Army soldiers.

State of the Union reactions

President Biden included a brief mention of the U.S.-Mexico border and migration policy in his March 1 State of the Union address:

[I]f we are to advance liberty and justice, we need to secure the Border and fix the immigration system. We can do both.

At our border, we’ve installed new technology like cutting-edge scanners to better detect drug smuggling. We’ve set up joint patrols with Mexico and Guatemala to catch more human traffickers. We’re putting in place dedicated immigration judges so families fleeing persecution and violence can have their cases heard faster. We’re securing commitments and supporting partners in South and Central America to host more refugees and secure their own borders.

We can do all this while keeping lit the torch of liberty that has led generations of immigrants to this land—my forefathers and so many of yours.

Provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, those on temporary status, farm workers, and essential workers. Revise our laws so businesses have the workers they need and families don’t wait decades to reunite.

It’s not only the right thing to do—it’s the economically smart thing to do. That’s why immigration reform is supported by everyone from labor unions to religious leaders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Let’s get it done once and for all.

Some immigration advocates found Biden’s security-forward presentation to be unsatisfying or concerning. “We are disappointed in @POTUS claims to fund the police, and increase border funding to a border already well funded,” tweeted RAICES Texas. “Biden has promised to make the US welcoming, and he must end Title 42 end MPP and restore asylum today,” tweeted Amnesty International USA. “The president’s hawkish talk in his State of the Union speech feels like a gut punch,” wrote Arizona Republic editorial writer Elvia Díaz, who noted the persistence of Title 42 expulsions and the President’s stalled immigration reform effort. She called Biden’s reference to a pathway to citizenship “a line, almost as an afterthought,” lamenting that the President’s border rhetoric has hardened as the Democrats appear more vulnerable in November’s midterm congressional elections. 

On the other side of the debate (in addition to some Republican representatives who yelled “build the wall” inside the chamber) were unnamed Border Patrol agents cited by Fox News. “‘F—ing pandering 101, full of sh—,’ one agent told Fox News. ‘I laughed,’ said another.” Another agent decided to level their attack on the asylum system:

“Immigration judges usually tend to follow the tendencies or intentions of their appointing administration, that means I and many other agents have little faith in them to actually follow immigration law,” they said. “The vast majority of these illegal aliens have no legitimate claims to asylum but administration-picked and taxpayer-funded lawyers will argue otherwise. Unemployment, inability to buy groceries, domestic violence, bad schools and bad weather are not legitimate claims, period.”


  • Mexico’s refugee agency (COMAR) reported that 16,309 people applied for asylum in Mexico in January and February 2022. That is, by a margin of nearly 3,000, the largest January-February total COMAR has ever received. 63 percent of applications were filed at COMAR’s office in Tapachula, Chiapas. Applicants came predominantly from Haiti (4,189), Honduras (3,675), Cuba (2,004), Venezuela (1,957), and Nicaragua (800).
  • Citing documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the Washington Post’s Nick Miroff found that recently built segments of border fence were been sawed through 3,272 times during the 2019 through 2021 fiscal years—three times per day—causing damage that cost $2.6 million ($800 per incident) to repair. More than half of breaches occurred in southeast California’s El Centro sector.
  • “The idea started as a joke, but now we have a real opportunity to make the lives of soldiers better,” a specialist medic who is leading a drive to unionize National Guardsmen assigned to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) border deployment told Military Times. According to a January Justice Department court filing, laws forbidding troops from unionizing do not apply to Guardsmen on state orders.
  • After a renovation that began in November 2020, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reopened its Central Processing Center (also known as the “Ursula Avenue facility”) in McAllen, Texas. The warehouse-sized site, first used in 2014, can keep up to 1,200 people apprehended at the border in short-term custody while processing them for asylum, detention, removal, or other outcomes. Before its renovations, the Center was known for its “cages”: indoor pens separated by chain link fencing. For the time being, Border Patrol is also keeping in place a tent-based processing facility in nearby Donna, Texas.
  • Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz told the Rio Grande Valley Monitor’s Valerie Gonzalez that the agency plans to increase processing capacity in its Del Rio (Texas) and Yuma (Arizona-California) sectors, which have seen rapid growth in migration. “What I don’t want to do is process these individuals in tents, which I’m doing quite a bit across the entire southwest border. We recognize that migration is going to continue, and we have to start planning for this being an enduring issue and be able to prepare for it accordingly.”
  • Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector leadership went on a horseback ride with municipal security officials from the border city of Mexicali, Baja California. A delegation from the Colombian Foreign Ministry’s migration agency visited CBP headquarters in Washington “to discuss irregular migration mitigation efforts at the Southwest border and throughout the Latin American region.”
  • Press coverage and expressions of concern continue to follow a February 2 article from the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate touting “robot dog” ground-based drones that the Directorate hopes to deploy along the border. The latest message is a letter from three Democratic House members, reported by Axios, citing “the threat the robots pose to migrants arriving at our southern border and the part they play in a long history of surveillance and privacy violations in our border communities.”
  • A Mexican bus driver claims he was bitten by an actual Border Patrol canine during a February 2020 stop at the Kingsville, Texas Border Patrol station. Roberto De Leon says the injuries to his left hand took two surgeries to repair, and he is suing for $1 million.

5 links: March 3, 2022

(Even more here)

Western Hemisphere Regional

The 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) is an annual report by the Department of State to Congress prepared in accordance with the Foreign Assistance Act. It describes the efforts of key countries to attack all aspects of the international drug trade in Calendar Year 2021


Milicogate is a case of alleged diversion of public funds from the Reserved Copper Law perpetrated by members of the Chilean Army


President Biden looks forward to welcoming President Iván Duque Márquez of the Republic of Colombia to the White House on March 10, 2022

U.S.-Mexico Border

Mexican smuggling gangs have sawed through new segments of border wall 3,272 times over the past three years


Younger, more cosmopolitan and more willing to ditch ideology for practical measures that improve people’s lives

5 links: March 2, 2022

(Even more here)


Colombia, where activists are routinely targeted by armed groups despite the 2016 peace accord, remained the most dangerous country to be a human rights defender, with 138 deaths recorded

Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela

Cuba, Venezuela y Nicaragua arremetieron este martes contra el “doble rasero” de la comunidad internacional que trata en la Asamblea General de la ONU


La presidenta de Honduras, Xiomara Castro, anunció la creación de la Policía Comunitaria al tiempo que prometió reestablecer las acciones que le competen a la Policía Nacional de Honduras que fue usurpada por fuerzas de seguridad híbridas con elementos militares

U.S.-Mexico Border

Experts have linked dehumanization to violence. Border Patrol agents have in recent years killed dozens of people and turned away asylum seekers exercising their legal right to seek protection, knowingly returning them to danger


Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro Tuesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin on the telephone to express his “strong support” and wish him well regarding the military deployment in Ukraine

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