Statement on Central American Migrant Caravans

Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, San Diego, Statement on Central American Migrant Caravans

As the faculty and graduate students of the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego, we express our concern with the ongoing refugee and humanitarian crisis currently taking place en las Americas at the U.S.-Mexico border. As scholars committed to making transparent the linked processes of war, militarism, settler colonialism, and forced migration, we wish to affirm that asylum seekers have rights to humane treatment under international law and to have asylum claims fairly and promptly adjudicated. We stand in solidarity with Central American refugees, and join various international migration and refugee organizations, as well as academic professional organizations like the Latina/o Studies Association, in “condemn[ing] all forms of violence used against migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, who have a human right to migrate and move across political territories in search of security and well-being.” Also, as scholars of race and ethnicity, we denounce the xenophobic, race-baiting tactics employed by US American and Mexican political actors who circulate inaccurate or decontextualized information about the migrant caravans, to stoke fear in an effort to gain electoral support.

We urge the UC San Diego community, as well as residents of the southern California region, to become better informed about the complex factors that compel large numbers of our fellow Americans to flee to our southern border. It is imperative that we engage in honest discussions about the U.S.  role in triggering the mass violence and economic devastation in Central America’s Northern Triangle through its long-standing economic, political, and military interventions, as well as its outsized contribution to climate-change-induced droughts and hurricanes in the region.

For information about San Diego-based efforts supporting the migrant caravans that we can donate to or volunteer for, see: Otay Mesa Detention Resistance (OMDR), Food for Migrant Caravan/Comida para la Caravana, and Border Angels/Ángeles de la Frontera, and San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN).

For legal funds, consider supporting the “Al Otro Lado” Medical-Legal Project.

If you are interested in going to Tijuana to volunteer with on-the-ground support efforts there, you may find more information here: Comité Estratégico de Ayuda Humanitaria Tijuana, Solidarity with Refugee Caravan in Tijuana, Enclave Caracol, Jardín de Mariposas, and Food Not Bombs.

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