Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

How Central American Youth Test Outdated U.S. Immigration Laws

As Vice President Mike Pence travels to Central America this week, immigrants will be on his mind. They’ve certainly been on the news, and on the president’s agenda. Pence knows that Central American children have been fleeing to the United States. But he should also recognize the staggering scale of this wave, and what’s behind it. Understanding … Read more

Immigrants wait in a processing cell at the Adelanto Detention Facility

Immigrants Are Dying in U.S. Detention Centers. And It Could Get Worse.

Osmar Epifanio González Gadba, 32, hanged himself in March after three months in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in California while awaiting deportation to Nicaragua. Jean Carlos Jiménez-Joseph, 27, from Panama, hanged himself in ICE custody two months later, after 19 days in solitary confinement. The morning of his death, a … Read more


How Venezuelan Refugees Are Surviving in Brazil

For most Brazilians, the disaster unfolding in neighboring Venezuela is little more than another passing topic on the evening news. The daily protests in Caracas are more than 2,500 miles away from São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, cultural ties between the two countries are limited, and the current political and economic crisis in Brazil … Read more


This Is How Mexico Is Preparing for a Wave of Deportations

Mexico’s Congress is scrambling to prepare for a possible wave of deportations from the United States. Lawmakers are currently debating two initiatives aimed to help the country manage the reintegration of hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions, of returning Mexican nationals – and benefit from the skills they obtained abroad. On Feb. 28, Mexico’s Senate … Read more


Save the Lives of Central American Migrants

In the new issue of Americas Quarterly, we asked people, “What would you tell the next U.S. president about Latin America?” To see other authors’ responses, click here. Dear Mister / Madam President, Judging from the rhetoric coming from both parties’ presidential campaigns, immigration will continue to be a hotly contested issue under the next … Read more


Central American Refugees Turn South as U.S. and Mexico Tighten Borders

In July 2014, at the peak of the Central American migration crisis in the U.S., officials in Mexico announced a plan to stem the tide of illegal entries on the country’s porous southern border with Guatemala. Dubbed Programa Frontera Sur, the new policy was partly responsible for a dramatic drop in the number of unaccompanied minors arriving … Read more

Colombian police help Colombian women carry their belongings as they cross the Tachira border river from Venezuela to Colombia

The Trump-ification of Venezuela

Welcome to the Trump-ification of Venezuelan politics. By closing one of the busiest sections of the border with Colombia, and launching mass deportations of citizens from that country, the government of President Nicolás Maduro has actually implemented what the Republican presidential candidate only dreams of doing.  Indeed, Maduro’s policies constitute a low point in the … Read more

Fresh Look Books

Dream Chasers: Immigration and the American Backlash

Immigration is part of the DNA of the United States. Whether motivated by the search for economic opportunity or by religious and political freedom, immigrants have been flocking to U.S. shores for over 400 years. Yet debates about “who belongs” and “who should be allowed in” are as old as the nation itself. Sometimes the … Read more

Innovators - Gregoria Flores

Gregoria Flores, United States

While many were surprised when tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American children arrived at the U.S. southern border seeking asylum last year, it had a sadly familiar resonance for Gregoria Flores. “I know what it’s like to apply for asylum here when you have no one supporting you,” said Flores, 47, who arrived alone … Read more

Lobbying for Latino votes

Dispatches: Lost in the Maze

As Latin American children play in the front room of an office in Brixton in London’s southern borough of Lambeth, their parents are equally raucous in the back, attending a February 2015 workshop hosted by a U.K.-based NGO called the Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organisation (IRMO). There isn’t enough space in the low-ceilinged, dimly lit … Read more


On Immigration, States Look to Move Past Rancorous National Debate

For progressive supporters of immigration reform, recent developments in national politics must undoubtedly seem grim. While two key elements of President Barack Obama’s sweeping executive actions on immigration appear to be headed towards defeat before the Firth Circuit Court of Appeals, House Speaker John Boehner continues to blame those actions for Congress’ inability to pass immigration reform.  … Read more


Serving a Movement: A Model for Executive Action Implementation

Last November, President Barack Obama announced a historic executive action that could allow up to 4.4 million undocumented immigrants to gain relief from deportation and apply for employment authorization documents. This initiative was an important victory for the immigrant rights movement, which had pushed the president to act to protect immigrant families.  President Obama’s executive … Read more


Immigration Activists Mark National Day of Action

Immigration reform activists staged rallies and protests across the United States on Tuesday as part of a national day of action, calling for the implementation of President Barack Obama’s executive actions for undocumented immigrants. The day of action fell on May 19, the original date that one of the president’s blocked executive action programs, Deferred … Read more


Dominican Republic Denies Extension Request from 18 Haitian Migrant Rights Organizations for the National Regularization Plan

On Wednesday, the Dominican Republic government denied a deadline extension request for applications to the Plan Nacional de Regularización (National Regularization Plan) from 18 advocacy organizations dedicated to defending Haitian migrant workers’ rights. The deadline for registration is scheduled for June 17. Roudy Joseph, spokesman for the coalition of organizations, announced that a document would be … Read more

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