May 9, 2023
Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Adán Augusto López Hernández, Secretary of Governance
Dear Secretaries, Ebrard Casaubon and López Hernández,
We are civil society organizations and experts who defend and promote the human rights of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees on both sides of the border. We write to you regarding the announcement made by the Presidency of Mexico on May 2 regarding the Joint Humanitarian Plan on Migration between Mexico and the United States, and the commitments made by the Mexican government.
We have highlighted on several occasions the urgent need for the U.S government restoring access to asylum at the border to all persons who wish to seek protection in this country and for the Mexican government to ensure the human rights and safety of those who are returned to Mexico because of U.S. policies.
We consider it positive that the U.S. government has established legal pathways for migration for persons of certain nationalities, such as humanitarian parole for persons from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela who meet specific requirements, as well as the April 27 announcement of the expansion of family reunification parole process for people from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Colombia, the details of which have yet to be finalized. However, these measures alone are insufficient, particularly because President Biden’s administration has also announced new restrictions on access to asylum in the United States after Title 42 ends on May 11.
Following the experience with the adoption of Title 42, a policy that several of our organizations, members of the U.S Congress, and international organizations such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) consider incompatible with the principles of international refugee law and the human right to seek asylum, it is of the utmost concern that the U.S. government will once again obstruct the right to seek asylum for persons arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.
As such, we are also worried about the Mexican government’s response to these measures. The recent press release issued by the Presidency of Mexico states that “Mexico will continue to accept the return of migrants under humanitarian grounds.” We understand this to mean that, contrary to the Mexican government’s practice before the start of the Migrant Protection Protocols (Remain in Mexico program) in January 2019, Mexico will continue to accept non-Mexican migrants returned by the U.S. government, this time under Title 8 of U.S. law (i.e., persons deported under the U.S. immigration system).
Due to the lack of clarity and information in the Mexican government’s announcement, we request answers to the following questions to guide the way we provide support to the population that could be impacted:
- What nationalities will Mexico receive from the United States? Has a limit been set on the number of people Mexico will receive monthly?
- What immigration documents will the Mexican government provide for the population sent back from the U.S. and will they be eligible for refugee status or other forms of humanitarian protection in Mexico?
- What criteria does the Mexican government have in place to facilitate the safe return of people sent back from the United States to their countries of origin? Does the Mexican government have in place information for the people who are returned to Mexico? This is particularly important considering that Mexican border cities are already experiencing overcrowding in shelters and other services available to migrants and that many of these people will be restricted or excluded from applying for re-entry to the United States.
- What measures will your offices adopt to guarantee the safety of persons returned to Mexican territory?
- What type of joint agreement or collaboration with the United States has Mexico negotiated to meet the needs of returning populations, support institutions that will assist, such as the Mexican Commission for Refugee Assistance (COMAR) and/or set up temporary shelters in border cities?
- What actions or measures based on the child’s best interests are you considering adopting to prevent or protect children and adolescents from the results of post-Title 42 immigration policies, for example, to ensure no family separation?
Given our work with the migrant population, we believe it is important to clarify these doubts and create an open, transparent, and urgent dialogue with the government with the aim of providing support and accompaniment to migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees on both sides of the border.
Civil society organizations
Apoyo a Migrantes Venezolanos
Asylum Access México (AAMX) A.C.
Bloque Latinoamericano sobre Migración: Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), Comisión Argentina para los Refugiados y Migrantes (CAREF), Red Nacional de Líderes Migrantes en Argentina, Cáritas Brasileira, Centro de Direitos Humanos e Cidadania do Imigrante – CDHIC – Brasil, Instituto Migrações e Direitos Humanos, Clínica Jurídica de Migrantes y Refugiados de la Universidad Diego Portales-Chile, Fundación de Ayuda Social de las Iglesias Cristianas (FASIC), Secretariado Nacional de Pastoral Social-Caritas Colombia, Servicio Jesuita a Refugiados Ecuador (SJR-Ecuador), Asociación Comité de Familiares de Migrantes Fallecidos y Desaparecidos de El Salvador (COFAMIDE) – El Salvador, Cristosal, Advancing Human Rights in Central America – El Salvador, Asociación, RUMIÑAHUI. Red de Ecuatorianos en Europa, Centro de Atención y Desarrollo Integral Migrante (CADIM), Federación Zacatecana de Migrantes, Latinas en el Poder, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR), South Texas Human Rights Center (El Centro de Derechos Humanos Del Sur de Texas), Coalición de Derechos Humanos, Tucson, Az, Asociación Coordinadora Comunitaria de Servicios para la Salud (ACCSS), Asociación de Familiares de Migrantes Desaparecidos de Guatemala (AFAMIDEG), Asociación Pop No’j – Guatemala, Equipo de Estudios Comunitarios y Acción Psicosocial (ECAP), Grupo Articulador de la Sociedad Civil en Materia Migrator
Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA)
Center for Gender and Refugee Studies (CGRS)
Centro de Atención a la Familia Migrante Indígena AC CAFAMI
Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL)
Coalición de Migrantes Mexicanos
Comisión de Accion Social Menonita (CASM)
Comunidad en Retorno
Cuerpo académico Procesos Transnacionales y Migración BUAP-CA-230
Fundación para la Justicia el Estado Democrático de Derecho (FJEDD)
Grupo de Identidad y Educación Para las Movilidades (GIE): Colectivo de Federaciones y Organizaciones Migrantes Mexicanas (COLEFOM), 1 de 7 migrando,Apoyo a Migrantes Venezolanos, Casa del Migrante Saltillo, Centro Comunitario de Atención al Migrante y Necesitado- (CCAMYN),Centro de Atención a la Familia Migrante Indígena (CAFAMI),Clínica Jurídica IBERO,Comunidad en Retorno,Deportados Unidos en la Lucha (DUL),Instituto Para las Mujeres en la Migración, AC (IMUMI),Dra. Leticia Calderón Chelius,Otros Dreams en Acción (ODA),Red de Mujeres del Bajío,Sin Fronteras IAP y Migrantologos.
Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración, AC
International Rescue Committee (IRC) – Mexico
Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
LV Acompañamiento y Arte por los Derechos de las Mujeres, A.C. (Las Vanders)
Sin Fronteras IAP
South Texas Human Rights Center
Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
Voces Mesoamericanas, Acción con Pueblos Migrantes A.C. (VM-APM)
Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC)
Patricia Eugenia Zamudio Grave
Luis Miguel Morales Gámez
Guillermo Yrizar B.
Amarela Varela Huerta
Ana Verónica Stern
Roberto Velasco Alvarez, Head of the Unit for North America, Secretariat of Foreign Affairs.
Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez, Deputy Secretary for Human Rights, Population and Migration, Secretariat of Governance.
 Presidencia de la República (2023) México y estados unidos fortalecen plan humanitario conjunto sobre migración, Gobierno de la República. Available at: https://www.gob.mx/presidencia/prensa/mexico-y-estados-unidos-fortalecen-plan-humanitario-conjunto-sobre-migracion?state=published (Accessed: 08 May 2023).