US Immigration Policy Erodes Human Rights at Mexican Border

A large number of migrants trying to find jobs in the United States is straining the capacity of communities along the migrant route to properly protect the rights of migrants.

Washington’s mishandling of the immigration influx on its southern border is generating a human rights crisis for regional communities. With no way to legally cross into the U.S., thousands of migrants continue to live in poor conditions in Mexico.

With already vulnerable migrant systems and weak economies, towns such as Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo in the state of Tamaulipas, are struggling to accommodate the surging undocumented migrants refused or expelled by the United States, leaving those asylum seekers increasingly exposed to unsafe, unsanitary and unsustainable conditions.

To solve the pressing border crisis, experts said, the U.S. government should look beyond the border, take coherent immigration policies and work coordinately with other countries to tackle the roots, especially in a time of the COVID-19 pandemic.


In all, about 9,000 migrants in Reynosa alone are currently living in shelters specially set up for them, or in makeshift settlements scattered around the city, or simply on the streets, Mayor Carlos Pena said.

Senda de Vida, located less than 50 meters from the border river Rio Grande, was designed to shelter 600 people. However, due to the waves of Central American migrants heading north and being waylaid by legal procedures, it is critically overcrowded.

Since the beginning of the fiscal year 2022, which began in October, U.S. immigration authorities have detained more than 1.2 million undocumented migrants, many of whom risked their lives to cross the Rio Grande, according to data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Migrants who have been stranded in Reynosa seek to enter the United States legally, but procedures have been delayed or stalled due to Title 42, a Trump-era regulation that allows U.S. immigration authorities to ban migrants from entering the country and quickly expel them to Mexico or their home countries on the grounds of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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