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María Sarabia Flores

Migration between Mexico and the United States: a misfortune for migrant families

- It was expected that with the entry of North American President Joe Biden, the immigration policy of this country would be a little less restrictive, however, this has not happened.

Migration between Mexico and the United States: a misfortune for migrant families

Migration is a phenomenon that has always existed, it is part of the nature of the human being to keep moving, however, migratory flows around the world have grown exponentially in recent years. Data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees indicate that until November 2021 there was a record of more than 84 million people who had been forced to migrate due to various factors. (UNHCR, 2021).

There are regions of the world whose migratory activity is stronger than others, for example the Middle East area, specifically the area of Syria and Afghanistan, have registered unimaginable figures. However, in the national territory there is also a high flow of migrants, mainly due to the position of Mexico as a transit country for all those people from Central America who seek to reach the United States.

In 2019, during the administration of Donald Trump, an agreement was signed in which Mexico promised to deploy National Guard forces along the entire southern border of the country with the aim of containing the passage of undocumented Central Americans and to apply rigorous immigration law and the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP). For its part, the US government committed to continue working with Mexico and regional and international counterparts to address the root causes of migration from Central America (Pachico, 2021).

It was expected that with the entry of North American President Joe Biden, the immigration policy of this country would be a little less restrictive so that it could work in favor of migrants and hand in hand with Mexico, however, this has not happened and it has been implemented a new protocol called Remain in Mexico, in Spanish "Stay in Mexico", even though the responsibility should not fall on the Mexican government, since it is a joint commitment between sending and receiving countries of migrants.

The impact that this policy has on the migrant community to this day is terrible; The humanitarian situation has worsened and unfortunately the health and physical integrity risks have also increased, such as the following:

  1. One of the main causes of Central American migration begins when entry to the national territory is denied until the migrant submits an official refugee application, proving that it is impossible for them to remain in their country of origin, forcing them to stay in border cities where it is public knowledge that organized crime has a presence and seeks to recruit people to sell drugs or become kidnapping victims.
  2. Already being in border cities in northern Mexico and even in Guatemala or Belize, the migrant camps or houses established for people awaiting asylum or refuge applications are in a precarious situation, which increases health risks . Currently, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, a healthy distance cannot be guaranteed in these places due to the crowding of people that has occurred as a result of the restrictive immigration policy imposed by the United States. It should be considered that the health risk not only includes the current situation of Covid, but also many other diseases such as tuberculosis, influenza, hepatitis, herpes, among others.
  3. On the other hand, there are abuses of power by the Mexican and US authorities. It is known that security agents violate the human rights of migrants through physical and verbal transgressions. Added to this are women as a vulnerable group, who are more prone to suffering sexual assaults. This factor indicates a systemic violation of the Human Rights of migrants, which in addition to other circumstances already mentioned such as lack of health, dignified treatment, lack of education, among others, should not go unpunished.
  4. Now, racism and xenophobia are other elements that must be considered when analyzing migration, since they are social consequences that migrants suffer when they enter a country other than their own. Unfortunately, a social conception has been created, both in Mexico and in the United States, about migrants that is not adequate. They are thought to be criminals, coming to steal jobs, and therefore pose an imminent threat to the local population. This is largely due to the misinformation that exists around the issue of migration, since it is evident that these people emigrate out of necessity and fear, because it is impossible for them to remain in their country since their lives are at risk and they decide to go looking for of new opportunities for their families. The level of desperation is such that sometimes there are parents who send their children alone, even knowing all the risks and obstacles that arise along the way.
  5. Boys and girls who make their way to the United States are the most vulnerable and an issue that should be considered a priority for countries that receive migrants, since the numbers are increasing. According to data from Save the Children, the mobility of migrant girls and boys under 12 years of age multiplied by six in 2021, going from 4,985 infants in 2020 to 32,309. (Forbes, 2021). Usually it is the boys and girls who are wanted by organized crime, since they are much easier to convince in exchange for money, food or a place to live and apparently be protected, although the reality is completely different.

In short, the immigration policy between the United States and Mexico is an issue that must be reconsidered so that, although there are certain restrictions and a concrete record of people seeking opportunities in both countries, this process is carried out under the respect of the Rights Human Rights, the protection and accompaniment of migrants with the fixed objective of stopping inhumane acts.

The social consequences are many and unfortunately most of them are negative because the humanitarian approach is not considered at the time of the creation of the various policies on the matter.

The humanitarian approach must be the priority of these policies, of course, without neglecting national interests. Following the recommendations issued by specialized international organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is also essential for decent development of policies and migrants.


    Forbes Staff. (2021). Crece 6 veces presencia de niños migrantes en México: Save the Children. ., de Forbes México Sitio web:,-La%20movilidad%20de&text=EFE.,la%20organizaci%C3%B3n%20Save%20The%20Children

    Noticias ONU. (2021). Migración en 2021: Aumenta el número de refugiados y migrantes pese a las restricciones de viaje. ., de Organización de las Naciones Unidas Sitio web:,cuanto%20al%20n%C3%BAmero%20de%20desplazados

    Pachico, E. , Meyer, M.. (2021). Un año después del acuerdo migratorio entre los Estados Unidos y México, es claro que generó un desastre humanitario. ., de WOLA Sitio web:

    Torres, P. (2021). ALTO AL ABUSO DE PODER DEL INM. ., de Sin Fronteras Sitio web:

    Walter, J.D. (2022). Biden y su política migratoria: ¿otro “Quédense en México”?. ., de DW Sitio web:

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Sarabia, María. “La migración entre México y Estados Unidos: una desgracia para las familias migrantes.” CEMERI, 19 sept. 2022,