Skip to main content

Asylum Processing & Migration

The Migrant Caravan: From Honduras to Tijuana

The following report was written by Fellows at USMEX who were in residence when the Honduran Migrant Caravan arrived in Tijuana during the month of November 2018. The arrival of close to seven thousand migrants mostly from Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border was by far the immigration-related event with the most media coverage in decades. USMEX fellows, research assistants and staff analyzed many aspects of the caravan: group composition, safety, vulnerability, root causes, history of other caravans and responses from civil society and the three branches of government. The goal of this report is to share our observations and analysis of a highly politicized migrant movement.

Download the report (PDF)

Asylum Processing and Waitlists at the U.S.-Mexico Border

The Strauss Center at the University of Texas at Austin, the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy and the Migration Policy Center at the European University Institute have released a new report titled “Asylum Processing and Waitlists at the U.S.-Mexico Border," (PDF) that systematically analyzes asylum procedures at U.S. ports of entry along the southern border. During November 2018, amidst a presidential proclamation aiming to block individuals crossing between official ports from seeking asylum and the migrant caravan’s arrival in Tijuana, the research team conducted fieldwork in eight different border cities. They interviewed civil society, journalists and government officials on both sides of the border, and also gathered and analyzed government and legal documents, and news articles to detail the current dynamics and identify trends across the border.

Download the report (PDF)

Metering Update: August 2019 (PDF)

Metering Update: May 2019 (PDF)

Metering Update: February 2019 (PDF)

The Release of Families Seeking Asylum across the U.S. Southwest Border

In October 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ended a long-run practice known as “Safe Release.” Under this practice, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials would assist families seeking asylum connect with sponsors residing in the U.S. and with the coordination of their travel plans before their release. In spring and summer 2019, three GPS graduate students conducted fieldwork, in-person and phone interviews with representatives from civil society and religious organizations, lawyers and journalists on both sides of the border. This report provides a snapshot of the end of the federal practice known as “Safe Release” and the local responses and reactions occurring across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Report forthcoming 

Migrant Caravan Teach-In

On Nov. 29, 2018, the center participated in the Migrant Caravan Teach-In, which aimed to explore the questions raised by the migrant caravan in our community about migration, law and ethics. How can the region work collaboratively towards a humane and orderly response to the arrival of the migrants, while maintaining security? How can civil society ensure immediate shelter and safety for migrants, as well as access to due process? Faculty and members of civil society engaged in a reflective conversation about this pressing challenge.

Documents (PDF): Event Flyer, Event Notes, Crossing the "Vertical Frontier", Experience In Mexico, Migrant Health Crisis in Tijuana, The Trump Administration's "Asylum Ban"