Asylum Policies of Expulsion and Grassroots Refugee Governance at the US-Mexico Border




McDaniel, Kathryn

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During the Trump presidency, US immigration policies of deterrence were transformed into asylum policies of expulsion, manifesting in policies such as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) and Title 42. MPP, also known as “Remain in Mexico,” turned away over 70,000 asylum seekers a t the US-Mexico border, leaving them homeless, waiting indefinitely in dangerous border cities for their asylum hearings. The asylum seekers in Matamoros formed an informal refugee camp that demonstrated the severity of this policy-induced crisis and became an important site for analyzing the impacts of MPP on asylum seekers. As the US turned away asylum seekers, a community of advocates united in the border communities of Brownsville, USA and Matamoros, Mexico. Using qualitative methods, this research analyzes the impacts of MPP asking the following research questions: 1) Drawing on the case study of Matamoros, Mexico, how did the implementation of MPP and Title 42 impact asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border? 2) How did humanitarian aid workers, immigration lawyers, medical service providers, and asylum seekers organize in response to the lack of state protection and social services for asylum seekers? By focusing on the Matamoros asylum seeker camp, this research highlights the lived experiences of asylum seekers who suffer the consequences of US immigration policies such as MPP and Title 42. Additionally, this research emphasizes the role of local communities in addressing international problems such as the humanitarian crisis triggered by US immigration policy.



Asylum policy, Grassroots refugee governance, US-Mexico border, Expulsion


McDaniel, K. (2022). <i>Asylum policies of expulsion and grassroots refugee governance at the US-Mexico border</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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