Photo: Migrants (Charles O'Rear/ACLU)
On Thursday, the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights will join the Programa de Defensa e Incidencia Binacional (Bi-national Defense and Advocacy Program, PBID), a delegation of Mexican non-governmental organizations, as they travel to Washington, D.C., to present the results of a study that illustrates the abuses experienced by migrants at the hands of authorities in the United States and in Mexico.
The data and the testimonials in the report suggest how two neighboring governments seem complicit in creating a profound humanitarian crisis. On one side, migrants bear the brunt of an immigration system that focuses only on harsh enforcement and is in dire need of reform and improved accountability and oversight.
On the other side, exists a climate of organized crime and a Mexican government seemingly unable to stop and control corruption.
Forced to live in the middle of these realities are the most vulnerable of people: hardworking and courageous individuals who were forced to leave their homelands—and risk life and limb—to either re-unite with loved ones in the United States or to make a better life for their families.
Instead of taking responsibility for these abuses, government officials in the United States and Mexico label the victims as “criminals” and further justify exploitation.
Instead of exalting and honoring the character of these people and acknowledging their invaluable contributions to the economy and culture of both nations, both governments toss them back and forth across a border, pounding and demoralizing their spirits and ignoring how families are fragmented and traumatized.