I MC’d a conversation between four very smart colleagues this afternoon, who helped make sense of a remarkable, and remarkably difficult, moment for migrants in Mexico. Here’s the text from WOLA’s podcast landing page:
Mexico had always been considered a source of migrants, or a country through which other countries’ citizens transited. Not anymore: so far in 2021, more than 120,000 migrants have applied for asylum or other protection in Mexico. And now, the U.S. government’s restart of the “Remain in Mexico” program means Mexico will be hosting even more people who’ve fled their countries.
Mexico’s transition to being a country of refuge has not been smooth. Its refugee agency, COMAR, is overwhelmed. The emphasis continues to be on deterrence and detention, in what has been a record-breaking year for Mexico’s migrant detentions. Mexico’s government has begun employing the military in a migration enforcement role, with serious human rights consequences. And U.S. pressure to curtail migrant flows continues to be intense.
We discuss Mexico’s difficult transition to being a country of refuge with a four-person panel of experts:
- Gretchen Kuhner is the founder and director of the Mexico City-based Institute for Women in Migration (IMUMI – Twitter/Facebook), a civil society research, advocacy, and legal aid organization.
- Daniel Berlin is the deputy director of Asylum Access Mexico (Twitter/Facebook), the largest refugee legal aid organization in Mexico, with offices in 7 parts of the country.
- Maureen Meyer is WOLA’s vice president for programs. (Twitter)
- Stephanie Brewer is WOLA’s director for Mexico and migrant rights. (Twitter)