Between Humanitarianism and Control: Mexico’s Treatment of Undocumented Migration.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:45
Oral Presentation
Tanya BASOK, University of Windsor, Canada
Martha Luz ROJAS WIESNER, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Mexico
Mexico’s 2011 Immigrant Law proclaimed unrestricted respect for migrant rights. Yet, policies adopted in the last six years seem to contradict this commitment. The intensification of migration control and the rise in the number of detentions and deportations are the examples of the double speak the Mexican state uses in its approach to migration. Within this context, even though the 2011 Immigration Law, and the Regulations that followed, set procedures for the regularization of undocumented migrants, due to inadequate dissemination of information, excessive costs, and stringent requirements, for many migrants interviewed in our study conducted between 2013 and 2015, residency status was an unfulfilled dream. Recognizing the limitation of the legal provisions of the 2011 Law and the inadequacies in the execution of the 2015 special status regularization program for undocumented migrants, the Mexican government launched another special program in 2017. In this article, we will evaluate both the 2015 and 2017 status regularization programs, governing rationalities and contradictions behind both programs, and the role of civil society organizations in promoting the programs and assisting migrants to negotiate status, placing the analysis in the context characterized by the tensions within Mexico’s immigration approach between humanitarianism and control.