Los Desechables - The Disposables

By: Derick Abrigu  

Expressed through the seldom-heard voices of vulnerable migrant populations, this research exposes the sociopolitical realities faced by US-bound irregular migrants temporarily refuged in shelters along Mexico’s Northern border region. This qualitative ethnography - consisting of fieldwork undertaken with repatriated Mexican citizens (deportees), undocumented Central Americans, and a diasporic Haitian community of asylum seekers, as well as with the volunteers and administrators who service them – constructs the U.S.-Mexico transitory corridor as a space of legal ambiguity that grossly compromises the recognition of a migrant’s fundamental human rights and that severely threatens their capacity to progress. Through the relived accounts and hardship stories described in these narratives, this investigation reveals deeply rooted flaws inherent to our binational immigration policy framework and stresses the imminent need to reconsider the role that state and non-state actors traditionally play in identifying, protecting, and serving these populations.

Mexico-U.S border liminality
2019 Special Focus—Border Crossing Narratives: Learning from the Refugee Experience
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Derick Abrigu

micro-finance project analyst, Community Development, Via International, San Diego, USA, United States
United States

I am a graduate researcher focusing on issues of forced migration in Latin America. I have been passionate with respect to this theme for several years now, an interest that stems from my own origin as a second generation Peruvian immigrant to Canada and that has solidified through extensive field work in refugee shelters in Mexico and Central America. Currently, I am completing a concurrent masters degree at San Diego State University, researching the intersect of legal ambiguity and migrant well-being along the U.S.-Mexico border. Alotogehter, I seek to incorporate aspects of social consciousness, justice, and empowerment within migrant communities, in an effort that build on their capacity to progress sustainably and on their long-term socio-legal transformation.