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

A Future at Home: Investing in Youth Opportunity in Central America

Analysis & Commentary
Today, WOLA is releasing a report that focuses on the lack of opportunity for youth in the Northern Triangle of Central America. As the U.S. begins discussions on its FY2017 budget, the report sheds light on what needs to be done to provide opportunities for youth.

Migration through Mexico: A Humanitarian Emergency

Interactive Map Shows Impact of Mexico's Southern Border Program
Analysis & Commentary
Increased enforcement along Mexico’s southern border has raised concerns about potentially severe humanitarian consequences for thousands of Central Americans fleeing violence, poverty, and lack of opportunity. This map uses data, photos, and first-person accounts to show what’s happening at Mexico’s southern border.

Pope Francis to Address Migration during Upcoming Mexico Trip

WOLA Resources on Migration Issues along Mexico’s Southern and Northern Borders
News
In light of Pope Francis' upcoming trip to Mexico in which he will highlight migration through the country, WOLA is publishing an interactive map of Mexico’s southern border zone, an area that has become the site of a major U.S.-backed migration crackdown, raising serious humanitarian concerns.

Five Facts about Migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle

Migration is Driven by Violence and Insecurity; Deportations are Inhumane and Put Returnees at Risk
Analysis & Commentary
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's recent raids targeting Central American families fail to address the violence and insecurity causing these populations to flee in record numbers. WOLA provides five facts about migration from Central America's Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras since 2014.