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

New Data Highlights the Alarming Impact of Mexico’s Southern Border Program

News
The number of Central American children and families arriving at the United States border in an attempt to escape violence in their home countries has fallen significantly compared to last year’s peak, but at what cost?

Interactive Map: Mexico’s Southern Border Plan Ramps Up Deportations

Map Shows Migrant Deportations from Mexico by State
News
The impact of the Southern Border Program is evident in the high concentration of deportations from Chiapas, Mexico’s southernmost state.

Border Statistics Update: Mexico’s Increased Enforcement Matches U.S. Border Efforts

News
Mexico is ramping up its migration crackdown, and unaccompanied minor deportations from the country are now on par with unaccompanied minor apprehensions in the United States.

WOLA Expert Weighs In on Mexico’s Southern Border Program

New Multimedia Series Highlights Controversial Program
News
WOLA’s Mexico and Migrant Rights expert Maureen Meyer participates in Animal Politico's series "Programa Frontera Sur: Una cacería de migrantes".