Thursday, May 13, 2021

A Journey of Hope: Haitian Women’s Migration to Tapachula, Mexico

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Another day, another great report about Haitian migration to the United States.

Today I draw your attention to A Journey of Hope: Haitian Women’s Migration to Tapachula, Mexico, a 2021 report authored by El Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración, A.C. (IMUNI), the Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), and U.C. Hastings' Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS).

From the introduction:

In recent years, Mexico has become a country of transit not only for Central American migrants and “migrant caravans” traveling north, but also for thousands of Haitians who... made the long journey from Haiti into South America and, eventually, overland to Mexico or the United States...

In March 2020, IMUMI partnered with CGRS and HBA (together, the “Research Team”) to travel to Tapachula and interview Haitian women about their experiences of migration to Mexico. The Research Team wanted to learn what barriers Haitian women face in obtaining humanitarian assistance and legal protection, as well as the connection between these barriers and the intersectional discrimination they experience as Black migrants. In addition to interviewing 30 Haitian women, the Research Team spoke with several service providers and other stakeholders in Tapachula and throughout Mexico.

This Report outlines the findings of those interviews, which highlight the numerous obstacles that Haitian women must overcome in order to access legal and other services, and to successfully move through the Mexican immigration system. The findings also outline the gender-based and anti-Black racial discrimination these women have faced not only in Mexico, but also on their route through South America. ...

The Report contextualizes these findings within the broader context. First, the Report provides an overview of the Mexican immigration system and how the humanitarian situation of migrants has deteriorated under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Next, in order to better understand Haitian women’s migration journey, the Report outlines the conditions in Haiti that caused them to flee; the political, legal and economic context in South America that caused them to migrate to, and subsequently leave, Brazil and Chile; and the immigration framework in the United States, where many hope to live. Finally, the Report provides recommendations for how to improve Mexico’s response to Haitian migrant women and other similarly situated vulnerable groups.


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