Mexico

Mexico

HIAS Mexico Social Worker Carolina Hernandez greets a young girl before a workshop at Pan de Vida Migrant Shelter in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, December 2021. (Paul Ratje for HIAS)

Country Director

Blanca Lomeli

Office Locations

Ciudad Juarez, Matamoros, Mexicali, Mexico City, Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Nogales, Palenque, Puebla, Queretaro, Reynosa, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Tapachula, Tijuana, Tuxtla Gutierrez

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HIAS Mexico

Mexico has become a transit country and destination for vulnerable migrants, especially from Central America, Venezuela, and Cuba. The influx of asylum seekers and migrants combined with pandemic-related restrictions has raised additional hurdles for civil society organizations. Thousands of refugees and other forcibly displaced people have arrived at Mexico’s northern border from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean seeking asylum in the United States.

This increase in migration has been driven from the south by the effects of violence and armed conflict, climate change, and gender-based violence in the region, and by the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP), border closing, and expulsions under Title 42 from the north. Refugees and migrants living in Mexico’s northern border cities, particularly women, girls, and LGBTQ refugees, face extremely high levels of violence including kidnapping, human trafficking, and exploitation.

177,556

people provided with legal services directly and indirectly in 2021

Our Work

HIAS protects and supports refugees to build new lives and reunite with family members in safety and freedom. HIAS’ response in Mexico helps refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants to obtain legal protection by pursuing their claims for asylum in the U.S. or by applying for legal protection in Mexico.

We provide legal services and support, including free legal representation for asylum seekers so that everyone around the world, including displaced people, can have equal access to their legal rights.

Provide Legal Support

HIAS’ community-based mental health programs promote the well-being of individuals, families, and communities affected by crisis and conflict so they can heal and rebuild their lives.

We work to protect the right of women, girls, and LGBTQ communities to access their full potential and live free from violence by supporting survivors, mitigating risks, and transforming beliefs that perpetuate GBV.

CREDIT: Jessica Masibo / HIAS Kenya
Provide Legal Support

We provide legal services and support, including free legal representation for asylum seekers so that everyone around the world, including displaced people, can have equal access to their legal rights.

Impact Story

Stranded in Mexico: The Human Cost of Title 42

Since March 2020, a public health law known as Title 42 has blocked people from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, ostensibly to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although public health experts have stated from the start that the policy does not improve public health and other entry restrictions have long ago been lifted, as of March 2022 there have been over 1.8 million expulsions under Title 42.

Read more
A HIAS staffer (right) hugs Juny Araceli Lopez (51), an asylum seeker from Guatemala, at the Embajadores de Jesus migrant shelter in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on February 17, 2022. Lopez’s 14 year old son, Justin Orlando, was assassinated by mara gangsters while walking with Juny to a grocery store in August 2021. According to Mrs. Lopez, the gangsters killed her son because he refused to work for them. “He never told me the maras were after him because he was trying to protect me, so I couldn’t do anything to save him,” she said. As soon as she recovered from the gun injuries she suffered during the attack, Juny fled Guatemala with her eldest son and family, heading for the United States. She and her family arrived in Tijuana on December 2021, where now they are stranded until US migration authorities resume asylum processes. (Guillermo Arias for HIAS)

A HIAS staffer (right) hugs Juny Araceli Lopez, an asylum seeker from Guatemala, at the Embajadores de Jesus migrant shelter in Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on February 17, 2022. Lopez and her family arrived in Tijuana on December 2021, where they were stranded until U.S. migration authorities resumed asylum processes. (Guillermo Arias for HIAS)

HIAS’ services are free. If someone tries to charge you for services claiming they represent HIAS, please report it at our confidential email address: ethics@hias.org. HIAS has a zero-tolerance policy on fraud and corruption. 

For any other inquiries please email us at info@hias.org.

A HIAS local staff member meets with an Ethiopian family seeking asylum. He helps make sure that the needs of the family are met as they wait.  (Glenna Gordon for HIAS)

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A HIAS local staff member meets with an Ethiopian family seeking asylum. He helps make sure that the needs of the family are met as they wait.  (Glenna Gordon for HIAS)

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