Programa Frontera Sur: The Mexican Government’s Faulty Immigration Policy (Castillo 2016)

Castillo, Alejandra. 2016. “Programa Frontera Sur: The Mexican Government’s Faulty Immigration Policy.”

U.S. public and media attention on the issue of immigration has remained almost completely focused on the northern Mexican border and fine points of U.S. immigration policy. In contrast, Mexico’s “other” border—the southern border—has fallen in the shadow of media coverage even as it has become the primary transit route for Central American migrants fleeing escalating violence in the region. Meanwhile, since the start of President Peña Nieto’s Programa Frontera Sur in 2014 and under pressure from the U.S. government, Mexico has gradually enforced strict immigration policies aimed at shutting down transit lines along its southern border. As several reports have shown, however, these crackdowns are accompanied by increased human rights violations against Central American migrants. Coupled with the alarming rise in apprehensions along Mexico’s southern border since the start of Programa Frontera Sur, Peña Nieto’s recent claims on the benevolence of Mexico’s immigration policies ring hollow. On the contrary, data generated over the two-years of Programa Frontera Sur indicates that Mexico continues to prioritize the detention and deportation of migrants, instead of investing in their safety.