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CJC Seminar - Border and Migration Control in Mexico - Alethia Fernández de la Reguera and Erika Herrera Rosales

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Location: S2.09

This seminar will explore the dynamics of border and migration control in Mexico, with Alethia Fernández de la Reguera presenting her paper on internal and temporary borders in Mexico and Erika Herrera Rosales reflecting on the paper through her own work, in particular her recently published monograph Ambivalent Humanitarianism (Routlege).


Alethia Fernández de la Reguera Ahedo is a full-time researcher at the Institute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Coordinator of the National Laboratory on Diversities of UNAM and of the Institutional Research Track: Rights, Migrations and Mobilities. She is currently a visiting scholar at the School of Law of the University of Warwick with the project The effects of border militarisation in Mexico and Poland on the international protection and human rights of migrants. In 2021 she received the National University Distinction Award for Young Scholars 2021 in the area of social science research. She is Affiliate Faculty at the University of Arizona M.A. Human Rights Practice. Specialist in gender and migration, immigration detention, bureaucracies, gender violence and women´s autonomy.

Erika Herrera Rosales is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. She received her PhD in Sociology from the same university. Her doctoral research explored the role of NGOs and Central American migrants. She was awarded with an Early Career Fellowship from the Institute of Advanced Studies and is currently an Associate Fellow there. Her forthcoming book “Ambivalent humanitarianism: Colonial legacies, migration control and the experiences of migrants in Mexico” focuses on global migration, bordering practices and deterrence practices of humanitarian workers from a postcolonial and decolonial perspectives.


Internal and temporary borders in Mexico: immigration checkpoints and the exceptionality of the law - Alethia Fernandez de la Reguera

Mobility has globally become a matter of national security. Borders have extended outward and inward, and racialization practices prevail in immigration controls. Virtually every country in the world implements immigration detention as a central practice of immigration policy. In recent decades, Mexico's has been distinguished by the securitization and militarism of borders, which has resulted in increased criminalization and human rights violations of populations in mobility. With the proliferation of checkpoints throughout the country, borders have become more flexible and new ones take place between states, provinces, and cities.

The flexibility and hybrid nature of the checkpoints derive from being a reactive practice carried out by an assortment of actors within the framework of a punitive immigration policy and a context of generalized violence in the country. In this paper, I analyze how, in a context of militarization and the presence of organized crime, checkpoints on highways by various federal and State governmental actors (including the Armed Forces) mark territorial and non-territorial borders, and under the exceptionality of the law are racist practices that put the life and integrity of migrants at risk.

Ambivalent Humanitarianism: Colonial legacies, migration control and the experiences of migrants in Mexico - Erika Herrera Rosales

This explores the complex relationship between migrants and local organisations that provide aid and support. This book explores the implication of humanitarian actors, which in turn affects migrants’ experiences and mobilities and has serious consequences for them. It offers an in-depth study into organisations and migrants, and suggests that humanitarian organisations are ambivalent institutions because they intend to help individuals whilst simultaneously reinforcing social and power inequalities. It explores in detail the narratives, roles and practices of humanitarian workers. Also, it, addresses migrants’ agencies, strategies and resistance to those who seek to control and govern their lives. Thus, Ambivalent Humanitarianism provides a comprehensive analysis from an interdisciplinary approach that uses critical humanitarian perspectives, post/decolonial theory and criminological studies.

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