Welcome to Migration Declassified, a project that supports the rights of migrants in North America by increasing transparency around security and law enforcement institutions in Mexico and the United States. The site will serve as a dissemination point for recently declassified documents that shed light on such issues as migration policy, border enforcement, migrant detention programs, and deportation policies. The blog will also feature commentary on migration-related news items and links to related resources. Articles published here will also appear in Spanish at our parallel site, Migración Abierta.
In recent years, the U.S. and Mexico have both come to view migration and border enforcement as national security issues. The Mérida Initiative, a massive, U.S.-funded aid package, brought a substantial increase in counter-drug and anti-crime assistance for Mexico and an increasingly militarized posture along the U.S.-Mexico border. Just this week, the U.S. Senate approved legislation that Sen. John McCain, one of the measure’s supporters, said would create “the most militarized border since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”
The secrecy surrounding Mexican and U.S. security and law enforcement institutions involved in these activities has been a major impediment to effective freedom of information work to determine the effects of these policies on the rights of migrants. In Mexico, government agencies fail to collect even the most basic data on migrants and migration. In the U.S., efforts to extract information from government agencies suffer first from lengthy administrative delays and then the heavy-handed redactions applied by government security officials.
This site will explore three main avenues of investigation: the records of domestic law enforcement organizations whose policies and operations directly affect the rights of migrants; documents from U.S. foreign policy and national security agencies charged with negotiating and implementing U.S. migration policy as a foreign policy issue; and U.S. intelligence reports that shed light on U.S. security policy programs in Mexico, Mexico’s own internal security policies, and the impact of both on the rights of migrants.
Migration Declassified is a product of the Mexico/Migration Project at the National Security Archive, an independent research center and repository of declassified documents based at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Except where noted, most of the documents published here are the result of requests made by the Archive under access laws in Mexico and the United States.
Future posts will feature documents on a variety of topics related to migration, border security, and migrant rights, including the following:
- Border shootings and the use of force against migrants.
- Migrant detainment policies in both countries.
- U.S. deportation and repatriation procedures.
- The Mérida Initiative and other major policy initiatives.
- Mexican police and military operations and the impact on migrant rights.
Check back soon or follow us on Twitter — @migrationdocs — to keep up with the latest declassified updates.