LAWG’s Priorities for Policy Towards Mexico and the Borderlands

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•  Encourage Mexico to address impunity for human rights abuses and bring justice to victims. The United States should collaborate with its neighbor to strengthen human rights and the rule of law in Mexico, including taking measures to make certain that human rights violations committed by Mexican security forces are being investigated, prosecuted and sentenced by Mexican judicial authorities. The United States should also ensure that Mexico takes concrete action to respond to the thousands of cases of enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial executions including shameful cases like the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students and to bring justice to the victims and their families.

•  Promote a rights-based approach to border security that actively engages border communities. Border security strategies focus too much on enforcement and not enough on respect for the human rights of border residents and migrants. Policies focused on theU.S.-Mexico border region should ensure just and humane treatment of migrants, in depth consultation with border communities, accountability for law enforcement officials, and protection of borderland wildlife and resources.

•  Oppose border externalization to Mexico and increased militarization along Mexico’s southern border. Instead of supporting increased enforcement along Mexico’s southern border, the United States should encourage Mexico to increase access to protections for refugees and migrants and investigate and prosecute crimes committed against migrants. Mexican border enforcement and deportations of migrants should not come at the cost of neglecting the protection needs of families and children and returning them back to harm.

•  Build support for comprehensive immigration reform that recognizes the contributions and aspirations of hard-working individuals and families. The aggressive tactics of workplace and residential raids along with law enforcement agreements between state and local police leave communities torn apart and neighborhoods in fear. Create a path to citizenship for undocumented individuals and families, including the young Dreamers, and end exploitation and criminalization of undocumented individuals.

•  Refocus U.S. counternarcotic efforts on more effective and humane approaches. Halt the illegal trafficking of firearms from the United States into Mexico and regulate any foreign military arms sales or training to Mexican law enforcement to ensure they are not transferred to units that have committed human rights abuses.