Date of Award

Fall 12-16-2022

Document Type

Research Paper


Whittier Scholars Program

First Advisor

Dr. Alma Bezares Calderon


The interactions between migrants and Mexican local communities have positive and negative outcomes. A report by Human Rights First found that more than 630 violent crimes against asylum seekers were reported in the first few months of the “Remain in Mexico” policy. Still, some migrants have been able to assimilate and stay in Mexico, particularly in large cities such as Tijuana, Baja California and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. This research project combines qualitative data collected through interviews with local NGOs between September 2020 to February 2021 and secondary research data. It focuses on the living conditions of migrants who have stayed in Mexico. Particularly, the study looks into the context that these migrants face when crossing, transiting, and establishing in local Mexican communities, either because they are in the process of waiting for their asylum seeking process to take place in the United States or because they decide to definitely stay in Mexico. In the project, I look at the effects of the “Remain in Mexico” policy and the new challenges migrants have faced since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, the project finds that migrants in Mexico are exposed to continuous violence, both from the state, from criminal groups, and even from groups that are in charge of their protection. This context increases the vulnerability of migrants and reduces their capacity to access resources that are already scarce. This situation got exacerbated after the start of the pandemic, with the closure of the Southern border. Further research will focus on the interaction between migrant groups and local communities and the violence that emerges from these exchanges.