This month’s report covers disturbing immigration trends under the current U.S. administration—diverted resources from investigations of serious crimes at the border and the rise in miscarriages among detained expectant mothers—as well as the new Mexican policy to cooperate with U.S. efforts to keep asylum seekers in Mexico as they wait for their cases to be processed.
- Human Smuggling Proliferates: Despite paying lip service to concerns about border security and the dangers of human smuggling, the Trump administration’s policies have allowed smugglers to thrive. Funds and staff are diverted to targeting families and individual migrants at the U.S.–Mexico border or within the U.S. while more complex investigations of serious crimes, like smuggling and drug trafficking, have declined by close to 60%. Though the department has denied this trend, there are proposed plans to slice $542 million from Homeland Security’s investigatory branch, a quarter of their budget. For more details about the alarming implications of these budget cuts and reassignments, see this article: https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/583051/.
- Immigrant Miscarriages in Detention: Over the past two years, the number of miscarriages among immigrant women in detention has nearly doubled. In December 2017, the Trump administration reversed an Obama-era rule that prohibited the detention of pregnant women in order to align with the current policy of detaining as many migrant as possible. The Department of Homeland Security should not detain expectant mothers, and the miscarriages have resuscitated concerns about inadequate medical care and unethical treatment in detention. This coverage provides more information: https://www.thedailybeast.com/immigrant-miscarriages-in-ice-detention-have-nearly-doubled-under-trump.
- Mexico Supports U.S. Agenda: Against expectation and in conflict with campaign promises to oppose U.S. anti-immigration policies and decades of asylum practice, Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, is cooperating with the Trump administration’s “Migrant Protection Protocols” requiring some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are processed. Mexican authorities are intercepting migrants and unaccompanied minors at the U.S.–Mexico border and assisting with the metering of asylum seekers. Officials within the Mexican government believe the compliant stance reflects the new leader’s desire to maintain good relations with their northern neighbor, but it inflicts further duress on asylum seekers. Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/01/world/americas/mexico-migration-trump.html?emc=edit_th_190302&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=685642300302.