Migration & Border Security

…putting human rights at the center of immigration policy

WOLA monitors the security situation along the U.S.-Mexico border, overseeing the U.S. security presence and exposing the border buildup’s often unseen consequences and costs. We work to increase awareness about dangerous U.S. deportation practices, the large number of migrants who die in the desert, and the challenges faced by local and state authorities in the identification and preservation of remains. We propose policy alternatives that will protect migrants’ rights, prevent deaths, and ensure that efforts to enhance border security are measured against the reality of the situation on the ground. At the same time, WOLA works to help address cross-border gun trafficking that fuels drug-related violence in Mexico.

Key Program Themes

• U.S. Unsafe Deportation Practices

Nearly two million people have been deported from the U.S. since 2009, many to Mexico. Click here to see WOLA's research on current U.S. deportation practices that put these migrants at risk.

• Border Security

Securing the border is often seen as a prerequisite for immigration reform, yet the costs of this buildup are often overlooked. Click here to see WOLA's work on security buildups along the U.S.-Mexico border.

• Migrant Deaths along the U.S.-Mexico Border

Each year hundreds of migrants die attempting to cross the border. Click here to learn more about what WOLA is doing to prevent migrants deaths and increase efforts to identify the dead.

• Gun Trafficking to Mexico

More than 60,000 people have died in drug-related violence in Mexico since 2006. Click here to see WOLA's work to advocate for policies that help combat illegal gun trafficking from the U.S. to Mexico as a way to address this violence.

Migration & Border Security News & Analysis

WOLA's Resources and Analysis on the Crisis of Migrant Children

Analysis & Commentary
For decades, WOLA has researched and reported on the conditions of crime, violence, and lack of economic opportunity as push factors driving migration. Below is a list of WOLA resources and analysis on the issues of unaccompanied minors, border security and migration, and citizen security.

Children, Families, and Danger at the Texas-Mexico Border

Report back on an August 3-4 visit to McAllen, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico
Publication
With numerous audio samples, Adam reports back on an August 3-4 visit to McAllen, Texas, and Reynosa, Mexico. Listen to on-the-scene updates about unaccompanied minors, the dangers of the journey, deportations, and the humanitarian response.

Statements by Religious Communities on the Unaccompanied Children at the Border

Analysis & Commentary
In recent months, unaccompanied Central American children have arrived at the U.S. border seeking refuge from violence in their home countries. Here are a few statements that have been issued by religious communities in the U.S.

Unaccompanied Children Are No Reason to Send the National Guard to the Border

Five reasons to reject current proposals to send the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Analysis & Commentary
Five reasons to reject current proposals to send the U.S. National Guard to the border with Mexico. Concerns about unaccompanied children at the border do not warrant it. This use of military force reeks of political expediency, not sound policymaking.