Past Event

Mexico’s Southern Wall

Mexico's Programa Frontera Sur, Its Impacts on Migrants, and U.S. Engagement

Center for American Progress
2:30 - 4:00 PM EST

This discussion will be in Spanish, and translation will be provided.

In the weeks leading up to the midterm election, media and political attention focused on the thousands of Central Americans traveling in caravans through Mexico, many hoping to request asylum in the United States. The current situation comes as part of a ramping up of immigration enforcement by the Mexican government—much of it with U.S. support and encouragement—since 2014. Under Mexico’s Southern Border Program, immigration authorities have apprehended more than 700,000 people in transit through Mexico. Such efforts come as Mexico still struggles to build out its own ability to process and protect asylum seekers and as the United States increasingly militarizes its own border with Mexico.

The panel will focus on how Mexico’s Southern Border Program has impacted migrants, predominantly from Central America, who are fleeing violence, threats, and poverty in their home countries. Speakers will discuss the danger and legal difficulties migrants and refugees face on their journey to the U.S. border, the issues facing Mexico’s asylum system, and the United States’ role in supporting Mexico’s border security and immigration enforcement efforts.

Please join us at the Center for American Progress for this timely discussion, which will take place during the first week in office of Mexican President Andrés Manual López Obrador, who has promised to focus on migrants’ human rights and the economic development of Mexico’s southern region and has proposed a joint development plan for Central America to President Donald Trump that includes support from Mexico and the United States.

Introductory remarks:
Dawid Danilo Bartelt, Director, Office for Mexico and the Caribbean Heinrich Böll Foundation

Featured panelists:
Miguel Ángel Paz Carrasco, Director, Voces Mesoamericanas, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México
Siria Villatoro González, Coordinator, Integral Defense Area, Fray Matias de Córdova Human Rights Center, Tapachula, Chiapas, México
Maureen Meyer, Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights, Washington Office on Latin America

Dan Restrepo, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress