WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Risks and Challenges for Asylum Seekers in Mexico

3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Tuesday, 25 June 2019

(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) cordially invites you to the following event:

Risks and Challenges for Asylum Seekers in Mexico

Consequences of U.S. Asylum Practices and Mexico’s Crackdown on Migration

Event Details:
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Washington Office on Latin America
1666 Connecticut Ave., Suite 400

By early June 2019, close to 19,000 asylum seekers were waiting in Mexican border towns for an appointment with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a port of entry. This backlog of processing asylum claims is a direct result of the Trump administration’s policy of “metering” the entry of asylum seekers into the country. Fleeing violence and deprivation in their home countries, thousands of asylum seekers are now waiting weeks or months in Mexico, facing risks of violence, extortion, kidnapping by criminal organizations, and a lack of adequate shelter and economic opportunities to sustain themselves and their families.

With the announced expansion of the “Remain in Mexico” program, thousands more Central American asylum seekers will be sent back to Mexican border towns to await their immigration hearings in the United States. At the same time, Mexico is cracking down on migrants, expanding enforcement operations throughout the country and committing to send 6,000 National Guard troops to its southern border.

The Waitlist, a short documentary shot in Tijuana, Mexico, and produced with Doha Debates, provides a vivid picture of the challenges asylum seekers face on their journey to the border and in coping with the long wait for an appointment with U.S. officials. Please join us for this event to present the video, followed by a conversation with filmmakers Natasha Pizzey and James Fredrick and WOLA migration experts Maureen Meyer and Adam Isacson about the impact of CBP’s metering policy, the Remain in Mexico program, and Mexico’s recent crackdown on migration.

About the filmmakers:

Natasha Pizzey-Siegert is a Colombian-British filmmaker and multimedia journalist based in Mexico City. For the last decade, she’s been covering stories ranging from the Zika outbreak in El Salvador, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, and migrant caravans in Mexico. Natasha works both in front of and behind the camera on productions for the BBC, HBO, Washington Post, Teen Vogue, and Al Jazeera. She is currently producing a feature-length documentary about refugees trying to reach the United States with James Fredrick.

James Fredrick is a multimedia journalist based in Mexico City since 2012. He is a frequent contributor to NPR and works with PBS NewsHour, Vox, Washington Post and the Financial Times. He focuses on migrant and refugee stories, all the way from gang-ridden neighborhoods in Honduras to the U.S.-Mexico border fence, and has reported extensively on Mexico’s migrant crackdown on its own southern border since 2015.

About Doha Debates:

In today’s deeply polarized and fragmented world, we have to learn to listen and act together. How do we tackle the gross injustices around us? How do we create a sustainable future for generations to come?

Through live debates, videos, blogs, and podcasts, we will bring people together around one urgent issue at a time. We encourage different perspectives, hear the arguments, question them, and turn ideas into action.

Forget what you think you know about debates! Doha Debates is new, different, respectful and challenging.

We all have a stake in our future, and we refuse to settle for a divided world.